Quantcast

Erin Brockovich Joins Vets to Rally Against DOJ’s Position in Supreme Court Water Pollution Case

Consumer advocate Erin Brockovich, dozens of military veterans and watchdog groups rallied yesterday to voice frustration over the federal government’s support of a known polluter in a landmark U.S. Supreme Court case.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has taken the side of electronics manufacturer CTS Corporation in a court case yesterday that could strip legal rights from military families poisoned by toxic drinking water at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, NC, and others harmed by industrial pollution across the country.

The case, CTS Corporation v. Waldburger, will decide if federal environmental law preempts North Carolina’s statute of repose, which imposes a 10-year limit to file a lawsuit. A ruling in favor of CTS Corporation would void injury claims of Asheville, NC, residents who, for decades, were exposed to trichloroethlylene—a known carcinogen—on land contaminated by the company.

“Whether it’s Marines at Camp Lejeune, families in Asheville, or residents of any community located near a Superfund site, we cannot allow this case to set a precedent giving polluters a free pass,” said Brockovich, who attended the rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court“It is unconscionable and egregious to deny victims of industrial pollution their day in court.”

Rather than defending the victims, DOJ filed a brief on behalf of CTS Corporation, specifically noting the government’s interest in the case and how it could affect ongoing litigation from those sickened at Camp Lejeune.

“DOJ is purposely supporting a known polluter to set a legal precedent which would deny Marines, veterans and their families of the very constitutional rights we all served and sacrificed to protect,” said retired Master Sgt. Jerry Ensminger, who uncovered the contamination at Camp Lejeune after losing his 9-year old daughter Janey to leukemia. "We just want the opportunity to present our cases in court and allow the merits of our cases to be the determining factor. DOJ has instead resorted to last ditch ‘legal gymnastics’ to kill all of our claims in their cribs.”

“It is preposterous that DOJ is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reward corporate and government irresponsibility and condone the poisoning of up to one million Marines and their families who faithfully served this country,” said Mike Partain, a breast cancer survivor who lived at Camp Lejeune.

DOJ’s position conflicts with the Obama Administration’s commitment to protect public health and the environment. In Aug. 2012, President Obama signed the Janey Ensminger Act into law, which offers health benefits to those contaminated at Camp Lejeune.

“Instead of fulfilling its obligation to take care of the military veterans and families sickened at Camp Lejeune, the U.S. government has turned its back on them,” said Heather White, Environmental Working Group’s executive director. “It is truly disappointing for not only the victims of Camp Lejeune, but for all of the men and women who serve our country.”

“Today we stand with the estimated one million Marines, their families, and the civilians of Camp Lejeune,” said Angela Canterbury, Project On Government Oversight’s director of public policy. “It's time to finally protect those who protect us.”

--------

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Toxics Across America: Report Details 120 Hazardous, Unregulated Chemicals in the U.S.

Congress: Protect Public Health, Not Toxic Chemicals

Erin Brockovich: Local Advocacy Drives Big Change

--------

Show Comments ()
Sponsored

Thirsty? Here Are 9 Types of Water You Can Drink

Plus, learn if there's one that's best for your health.

Catherine Falls Commercial / Moment / Getty Images

By Jennifer Still

You hear it all the time: You should be drinking more water. How much depends on the person, but generally speaking, staying well hydrated offers a host of health benefits. That includes higher energy levels and better brain function, just to name a few.

Read More Show Less
An invasive Amynthas worm, also known as a crazy snake worm, Asian jumping worm and Alabama jumper Tom Potterfield / Flickr

By Jason Bittel

My wife and I built a house two years ago on a few acres of woodland outside of Pittsburgh. The backyard is full of maples, poplars, briars and common spicebush. Two-lined salamanders and grumpy-looking crayfish wade among the rocks in the small stream that runs down the edge of the property. Deer, raccoon and opossum tracks appear regularly in the snow and mud. Sometimes, my trail-cam even catches a pair of gray foxes as they slink through the night.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
AleksandarNakic / Getty Images

By Kate Murphy

No matter the time of year, there's always a point in each season when my skin decides to cause me issues. While these skin issues can vary, I find the most common issues to be dryness, acne and redness.

Read More Show Less

David Woodfall / The Image Bank / Getty Images

By Sam Nickerson

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in April 2018 proposed relaxing standards related to how it assesses the effects of exposure to low levels of toxic chemicals on public health.

Now, correspondence obtained by the LA Times revealed just how deeply involved industry lobbyists and a controversial, industry-funded toxicologist were in drafting the federal agency's proposal to scrap its current, protective approach to regulating toxin exposure.

Read More Show Less
Steve Irwin poses with a three foot long alligator at the San Francisco Zoo on June 26, 2002. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

February 22 is the birthday of conservationist and beloved TV personality "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin, who would have been 57 years old today.

Irwin's life was tragically cut short when the barb from a stingray went through his chest while he was filming in 2006, but his legacy of loving and protecting wildlife lives on, most recently in a Google Doodle today honoring his birthday.

Read More Show Less