Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

National Guard soldiers say contractor knew about toxin

KTVL TV 10 Portland Associated Press  April 4, 2012

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A military contractor knew an Iraqi water treatment plant’s lax environmental standards let a toxic chemical contaminate the area, but never disclosed it to Oregon National Guard soldiers who were sickened, the soldiers said in a complaint filed Wednesday.

The complaint in U.S. District Court in Oregon alleges Kellogg, Brown and Root knew about the presence of sodium dichromate at the Qarmat Ali water treatment plant months before the date they originally gave in testimony and depositions.

A message left Wednesday for KBR was not immediately returned.

Sodium dichromate is an anticorrosive compound that can cause skin and breathing problems and cancer.

The soldiers, suffering from myriad respiratory problems, migraines and lung issues, sued KBR in June 2009.

The company acknowledged the presence of sodium dichromate in July 2003; a former employee later revealed an email to his managers that showed the company knew of the chemical in June 2003.

But the report uncovered by the soldiers’ attorneys points to KBR knowing about the presence of sodium dichromate in January 2003.

The soldiers say they only learned of the alleged misrepresentation in late February, after a Department of Defense inspector general investigation directed them to a 2002 KBR assessment of the plant.

Attorneys for the soldiers called the company’s earlier explanation “deliberate, calculated concealment,” according to the complaint. Guard soldiers from Oregon, Indiana and West Virginia who provided security at the Qarmat Ali water plant are involved in suits against KBR.

April 4, 2012 - Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Contractor Oversight, Department of Defense, Follow the Money, Government Contractor, Halliburton, KBR, Toxic | , , , , , , ,

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