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Lawmakers blast Navy over Lejeune water contamination

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Lawmakers blast Navy over Lejeune water contaminationFive members of Congress on Friday called the Department of the Navy to task — again — for what they say is an apparent resistance to keeping veterans informed about past water contamination at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.

In a tartly written letter to the Navy, Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida, Sens. Kay Hagan and Richard Burr and Rep. Brad Miller of North Carolina, and Rep. John Dingell of Michigan said the military continues to mislead the public about a high-profile scientific report on the contamination.

They said that the Navy hasn't yet agreed to a deal that would allow federal scientists to review its public relations material.

And, they said, the Navy appears reluctant to lead veterans and their family members to recent, updated science about the contamination.

"We would like to bring to your attention several issues that call into question (the Department of the Navy's) and (the Marine Corps') commitment to transparency and veracity in efforts to keep the public informed of ongoing developments related to Camp Lejeune's historic contaminated drinking water," the members of Congress wrote to Navy Secretary Ray Mabus.

The letter is the latest missive in an ongoing bureaucratic battle among military leaders, federal scientists, and veterans and their advocates in Congress.

At stake are ongoing scientific studies that could determine just how, and how badly, several contaminants might have affected the health of people who lived and worked at Camp Lejeune until the 1980s.

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