Inquiry urged on Marine base tap water

Associated Press / February 19, 2010

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WILMINGTON, N.C. - A North Carolina congressman said yesterday that he wants an investigation into reports that levels of a cancer-causing chemical in tap water at a Marine Corps base were downplayed and then omitted from official documents.

Democratic Representative Brad Miller called for the investigation by his House science subcommittee yesterday - a day after the Associated Press reported on new documents that indicate massive fuel leaks at Camp Lejeune and high concentrations of benzene found in a water well there in 1984.

“I am just disbelieving of their failure to act. It may have been worse than a failure to act. They may have acted to minimize or prevent the risk from being disclosed,’’ Miller said yesterday.

Benzene, a carcinogen, is a natural part of crude oil and gasoline.