Camp Lejeune Water Fact and Resources

Camp Lejeune Sign
   Reading time 5

Camp Lejeune Water Facts and Resources

We have all heard the commercials as well as received the robocalls, but I wanted to pass along some things that I never heard of about the water at Camp Lejeune. I am not a lawyer and this information is a compilation of other sources. I was not stationed at the two locations during the required time frame.

First, this covers Marine Corps Base (MCB) Camp Lejeune, and Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River only. Camp Geiger, Camp Johnson, Courthouse Bay, New River, and Rifle Range were served by plants that were not contaminated, according to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)

There were eight water treatment plants serving water to barracks and houses. These plants were Courthouse Bay, Hadnot Point, Holcomb Boulevard, Montford Point/Camp Johnson, New River, Onslow Beach, Rifle Range, and Tarawa Terrace. Out of these plants, three served contaminated water: Hadnot Point, Holcomb Boulevard, and Tarawa Terrace.

holding dirty glass of water

Those three plants served contaminated water to:

  • Barracks and most bachelor quarters: (Served by Hadnot Point)
  • Berkeley Manor, Midway Park, Paradise Point (Prior to June 1972, served by Hadnot Point)
  • Berkeley Manor, Midway Park, Paradise Point, Watkins Village (After June 1972, served by Holcomb Boulevard and Hadnot Point)
  • Hospital Point (Served by Hadnot Point)
  • Knox Trailer Park (Served by Tarawa Terrace and Montford Point/Camp Johnson)
  • Tarawa Terrace (Served by the Tarawa Terrace plant)

Camp Geiger, Camp Johnson, Courthouse Bay, New River, and Rifle Range were served by plants that were not contaminated. These areas aren’t part of the Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit. However, according to the VA’s own website, all these areas are covered under the Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012.

Camp LeJeune Disability Benefit Coverage Map

To qualify, you must have been stated at Lejeune or New River, on active duty, between August 1953 and December 1987, and you were dishonorably discharged. There may be a few other qualifiers. If you meet these requirements, then please contact a lawyer

The two main pollutants are the metal degreaser trichloroethylene (TCE) and the dry-cleaning agent tetrachloroethylene (PCE). Spilled or dumped onto the ground, the chemicals contaminated two drinking-water systems on the base between 1957 and 1985, according to federal records. TCE and PCE have been linked to an array of cancers in adults. In addition, health problems seen in children exposed in the womb include leukemia, fetal death, major heart defects, abnormal neural tubes, cleft lip, and eye problems.

The Real Story
According to official reports, a young Marine (Sgt Ron Poirier) assigned to the 8th Communications Battalion at Camp Lejeune in the mid-1970s was dumping hundreds of gallons of toxic solvents into the ground. He and the Marines in his shop used trichloroethylene (TCE) to clean circuit boards and other components on top-secret radio components. When they collected drums of the chemicals, they would carry them across the parking lot and dump them in the woods. Ron recalled dumping at least 100 gallons a month, and the kicker is this parking lot was located south of the Hadnot Point Industrial Area, right in the middle of a cluster of drinking water wells serving Camp Lejeune and New River.

But there is more, From 1964 to 2005, ABC One-Hour Cleaners served as a small family-owned dry-cleaning business. The Site consisted of three buildings that housed separate activities: the front, middle, and north buildings. The middle building housed the dry-cleaning operations which included the use of the washer and septic tank system. Tetrachloroethylene (PCE), a common dry-cleaning solvent, was used as a part of the operations and was improperly released into the soil and groundwater by the septic tank system. PCE was also improperly buried outside the middle building. These improper disposal practices resulted in soil and groundwater contamination.

If you were stationed at any of these locations during the time frame, please contact a lawyer regardless if you or your family are sick or not. This does NOT hurt your VA disability benefits.

chemical drums stacked up

Average Joe

Avatar photo

Welcome to the Average Joe Weekly blog. This is basically my place on the web where I can help spread some of the knowledge that I have accumulated over the years. I served 10+ years in the Marine Corps on Active Duty, but that was some 25 years ago.

Avatar photo

By Average Joe

Welcome to the Average Joe Weekly blog. This is basically my place on the web where I can help spread some of the knowledge that I have accumulated over the years. I served 10+ years in the Marine Corps on Active Duty, but that was some 25 years ago.

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.