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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.


Comment on this Story

  • Mike Partain

    I read the earlier comment from Mr Mason and found myself wondering, if he was talking about the same web portal we were discussing in this article? Mr. Rick Shiver was gracious enough to provide me with a copy of his personal Camp Lejeune file after our meeting last July. According to the index provided by the Navy for their password protected web portal/library, there are approximately 1,536 individual documents contained in this library. While some of these documents are indeed at NCDENR, most of them are not. In fact, while we were reviewing NCDENR’s files, we even found emails from the Navy stating that they may have forgotten to provide NCDENR a copy of one particular report…the email was sent within days after stories began to break in the media (Spring 2010) that the fuel spill at Hadnot Point was much larger than previously known….go figure, it seems that someone was a little worried.

  • Jerry Ensminger

    Mr. Catlin made the following comment;

    “I am sorry that Master Sgt. Ensminger has chosen to question the integrity of our firm.”

    I want to remind Mr. Catlin that my questioning of the integrity of his firm wasn’t by choice, it is out of necessity to ensure justice. The comments of his own employees is proof positive that something was definitely amiss with the creation of this password protected data/document repository. If in fact Mr. Catlin and his company were “hoodwinked” by the Department of the Navy and the United States Marine Corps then that would be all he needs to say. If public health is truly his priority then I would expect that he would step out and condemn the Navy and Marine Corps for misleading him and his company into believing that all of these data/reports were in the public domain. The question is, will he bite the proverbial hand that feeds him? Will he step out and reinforce his commitment to protect public health or will he take the safe route to protect his lucrative contracts with the DON?

  • Jerry Ensminger

    “The website was created to make it easier for the various team members to view the reports and saves money and printing costs since many of the reports are at least 2 inches thick.”

    If in fact all of the information included in this website was readily available to the public and the only reason you created it was to make it easier for the various team members to view the reports, why was it password protected?

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