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ONLY ON 3: New Hanover Co. Commissioner denies being part of Lejeune water cover-up

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The effects of the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune continue to ripple across the community. As one retired Marine continues to speak out about the controversy, he’s making some serious allegations against a New Hanover County Commissioner.

Fuel leaks and other pollution contaminated the wells at Camp Lejeune from the 1950s to the 1980s. Retired Master Sgt. Jerry Ensminger, believes the water is why his nine-year old daughter died of leukemia. He’s featured in the documentary, “Semper Fi: Always Faithful,” which claims the Marine Corps covered up the contamination.

During a recent interview on The Big Talker FM with Chad Adams, Ensminger also accused New Hanover County Commissioner Rick Catlin of helping the cover-up by creating a password protected file that contained secret information about the fuel contamination.

“This electronic file was constructed and created by a contractor of a person who is right there in your home area there, Chad, it was created by Catlin Environmental Engineering,” Ensminger said.

We e-mailed Catlin a copy of the interview. Catlin responded with this statement: “I share Master Sgt. Ensminger’s concerns and applaud his loyalty to his fellow marines and their families. He has, however, mistakenly misinterpreted the data website created by my firm. There are no hidden files. Many public and private environmental professionals have access to this collaboration website.”

Catlin’s company is part of the clean-up process on base and has been for about a dozen years.

As for creating this website, Ensminger admits Catlin didn’t break any laws.

“I would say Mr. Catlin and his company was covered legally, but morally, I question their initiatives,” Ensminger told Adams.

In response, Catlin said, “As professional engineers our primary duty is to ‘protect public health and welfare.’ All of our efforts have been toward solving and facilitating technical solutions. I am sorry that Master Sgt. Ensminger has chosen to question the integrity of our firm.”

The Aency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry is currently conducting a health survey on those who lived on base between 1972 and 1985. The agency is scheduled to release findings in 2014.

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