Here’s the link to the previous post with the agenda items listed: http://www.civilianexposure.org/cdc-atsdr-camp-lejeune-community-assistance-panel-cap-meeting-recap-and-audio-2-23-2015/
In addition, here is the audio in case you missed it:
For those that have asked, here are a few notes and takeaways from the call that I found rather interesting. I think you will also.
1. Positive progress was made between the new director of the ATSDR and the VA to establish a high-level partnership going forward. However, the outdated NRC report from 2009 still rears its ugly head and is a bone of contention between the CAP, ATSDR and VA. The VA continues to lean on that report as a basis for claims, rather than incorporate new ATSDR studies. Yet, we’re hopeful that this will be resolved.
2. The ATSDR also meet with the US DOD and Department of Navy. What’s most interesting about this meeting is the feedback from the DOD/DON regarding CAP/ATSDR plans for a future Cancer Incidence Study and more Soil Vapor Intrusion studies. The ATSDR must work with these entities to receive a budget for studies, as mandated by law. It is not clear, however, if DOD/DON intends to budget the funds. According to Rick Gillig of the ATSDR, “I thought we’d walk away with an agreement to fund and we did not.”
What is perhaps more revealing, and problematic, is that the ATSDR can only float the costs for so long during such a fight before they would have to ramp down activities. “The ATSDR can’t promise if it is not funded that we can float it,” according to Director Breysse.
This is concerning, and reveals that a worst case scenario is possible. That worst case scenario would look like this: DOD/DON denies funding. CAP fights to get Congress to compel the DOD/DON to fund the studies. This could take time. In the interim, ATSDR draws from its own funds for a few weeks or months, but eventually has to pause progress on the Cancer Incidence and Soil Vapor studies until full funding is provided. This would cause yet another delay in an already delayed and drawn out campaign to get to the truth. Add to this that the Cancer Incidence Study could take years on its own, and you’re looking at several more years of waiting.
3. In general, there was also “a lot of resistance” to these studies and a lot of “detailed questions” posed by the DOD/DON. Again, the old NRC report reared its ugly head in this meeting. In addition to this pushback, they generally “disagree that these studies are necessary”, claiming the NRC report is already a basis for what needs to be done. It was also revealed that the DOD/DON expressed that the recently released civilian mortality study is “inconclusive”. They also continue to push their argument for “smoking as a confounder” and “obesity as a confounder” for any scientific studies. As I mentioned sarcastically in the call, the DOD/DON and VA must think all people exposed at Lejeune are just fat, lazy smokers that bring all this upon themselves. I guess all of those known carcinogens in the water for 30+ years had nothing to do with anything, right?
I think we all know the real truth goes without saying.
Conclusion – The two factors that continue to work AGAINST victims but simultaneously FOR the US DOD/DON are money and time. With regard to money, stalling on the funding of proposed ATSDR studies drags out more time between the incident and the surfacing of any real hard answers. With regard to time, USDOD/DON inaction, delay and denial is self-serving. It helps them to keep Camp Lejeune water contamination backlash mitigated. They reduce their risk, monetarily and legally, by doing nothing.
As long as the truth can stay concealed and mired down in unfunded studies and inactivity, nothing happens to the DOD/DON in terms of accountability for this mess. Further, nothing gets done for the victims.
We know it, and they’re counting on it.