Mar 1, 2013

Pentagon Worried about Setting Precedent if It Okays Relocation

Christine Dieterich said she contacted the Corps, and was assured that soil testing on her property had come back negative, that the cleanup was slowly coming to an end, and that there was no risk to her family.  "Famous last words," she said, in a phone interview last week ... "They reassessed," she said, "and eventually determined to demolish the house.  We told the Corps, 'Fine, clean up the property, we would like to relocate,'" she continued.  That was in early 2012, and she said the initial response was "quite positive," with Corps aides looking at houses for the family.  "Then hardliners at the Corps took over," she said, and after three rounds of appeals, the relocation request was rejected last week.  "These people take forever for everything, and they never admit a mistake." 
The family is not banking on a positive response from the Environmental Protection Agency.  "We're now considering legal options," [Dieterich said] ... "If they do something for Christine's kids, it's a slippery slope for them," [Attorney Buzz] Bailey said.  "The Pentagon won't do the right thing because they're concerned about precedent."
Elizabeth Wiener

February 27, 2013 (pg. 1)

The best attempt at providing answers came from a 2004 survey of a 345-house epicenter of Spring Valley by Charles Bermpohl, a staff writer for the Northwest Current, a weekly paper that covers Spring Valley.  Bermpohl found 160 cases of chronic, often life-threatening and rare diseases.  Bermpohl's research found an alarming number of diseases, but experts have criticized the findings as anecdotal and unscientific ... Camille Saum had grown up on Sedgwick Street and lived there from 1947 to 1964 ... "Three-quarters of the homes in our part of the neighborhood had serious illnesses," says Beth Junium, Saum's sister ... Junium counts the houses with cancer -- "bad cancers, they all died" -- and stops at seven.  "I had an enormous growth on my thyroid," she says. 
... Camille Saum was eventually diagnosed with lupus and renal stenosis, a rare kidney disease that constricts the blood vessels.  "I was examined by a doctor for NIH who told me my conditions could have been caused by arsenic poisoning," she said.

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