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Evidently KBR bold face lied about knowing of the chemical hazards at Qarmat Ali!

(If you haven’t had the opportunity to listen to KBR managers deny deny deny the truth at Qarmat Ali click HERE)
(This post updated Nov 12, 2010 with a link to “THE DOCUMENT” Minutes of an Oct 2, 2003 meeting.)
KBR knew of exposure of Oregon soldiers to cancer-causing hexavalent chromium in Iraq

Julie Sullivan – November 11, 2010 – Documents exchanged in an Oregon lawsuit suggest that Kellogg, Brown and Root managers had medical tests proving workers at an Iraqi water treatment plant had “significant exposure” to a cancer-causing chemical, and managers worried about KBR’s liability as a result.

The minutes of an Oct. 2, 2003 meeting about blood and urine tests from workers at the Qarmat Ali plant contradicts KBR’s long-standing claims that there was no medical evidence of harm. The documents also indicate KBR’s top health, safety and environmental manager knew plant workers continued to use the toxic chemical long after health alarms were raised. While piles of the corrosion fighter containing hexavalent chromium blew in the desert wind, the workers inside mixing the material wore gas masks.

Hundreds of National Guard soldiers were deployed early in the Iraqi war to guard the civilian contractors. Thirty four Oregon Guard soldiers were among those who didn’t know the orange dust was dangerous and have sued KBR. They claim they now suffer breathing, skin and stomach problems and face greater risk of cancer. Last month, the Oregon soldiers added Halliburton to the suit. KBR was a subsidiary of the oil and construction giant at the time. The suit claims Halliburton employees oversaw part of the industrial process under KBR’s billion dollar no-bid contract to restore Iraqi oil. Read the remainder of this entry »

KBR managers at their worst

In Feb 2003, KBR was awarded a $7 billion no-bid contract in Iraq called Restore Iraqi Oil (RIO). In short…the contract was for putting out oil well fires and getting the oil fields back to production. Because water was used to pressurize the wells, part of the contract included restoring water to the oil fields. Water that was normally pumped through the Qarmat Ali water plant near Basra in Southern Iraq. This plant had been chemically sabotaged by Saddam loyalists and was in need of repairs before water could flow. It was at this water plant that 100’s of US National Guard soldiers, British soldiers, US civilians and Iraqi civilians were exposed to toxic levels of sodium dichromate. Sodium dichromate is a well known carcinogen and it’s dangers were brought to the public’s attention in the movie Erin Brockovich.

Many US Army National Guard soldiers have already died and others suffer from a myriad of conditions from what is believed to be exposure to toxic levels of sodium dichromate. US Soldiers testified before the Senate Democratic Policy Committee in August that the orange dust was everywhere. They ate it in their food, drank it in their water and slept in it. In some places it was reported to be “feet” thick. The remaining unopened bags (which were labeled in Arabic) were used as sandbags for bunkers and protection.

When KBR’s own Safety Coordinator  Ed Blacke, who also testified at a Senate DPC hearing in June 2008, requested information on the red/orange substance, he was told by his own HSE Manager “it is a non-issue”. Even though soldiers and civilians were experiencing symptoms consistent with sodium dichromate exposure. Soon after he was terminated for pressing the issue.

In the last year there have been numerous law suits filed against KBR by US Army National Guard soldiers from several states for knowingly exposing them to sodium dichromate. KBR employees can not sue KBR for not providing them when a safe work environment.  They are held to secret binding arbitration.  Below are clips from sworn depositions of five key witnesses in the chemical exposures. Please pay close attention the testimony of the KBR Operations and Safety Managers.  Unbelievable arrogance and what I believe to be negligence.

Below is a portion of the sworn deposition of Johnny Morney KBR Health Safety & Environmental Manager at Qarmat Ali in 2003. (3:01) Click HERE to watch it on YouTube. This is just unbelievable ignorance!

Below is a portion of the sworn deposition of Doug Fletcher KBR General Program (Operations) Manager in Iraq (2:26) Click HERE to watch it on YouTube. Mr. Fletcher is just not sure if he had a “meeting” about the hazards of sodium dichromate with his employees or not.

Below is a portion of the sworn deposition of Charles “Chuck” Adams KBR Health Safety & Environmental (HSE) Manager for Iraq in 2003 (4:11) Click HERE to watch it on YouTube. How many HSE managers would be allowed to get away with this in the States?

Below is a portion of the sworn deposition of Dr. Sudhir Desai KBR Industrial Hygienist (3:52) Click HERE to watch it on YouTube

Below is a portion of the sworn deposition of Dr. Robert Conte, KBR Medical Director (4:34) Click HERE to watch it on YouTube

I can’t even think of anything else to say except “what the hell!” And we wonder why KBR is having problems on LOGCAP. Why they are electrocuting people. Making contaminated water. Exposing people to dangerous toxins. Either they are just plain stupid or just don’t care or both! Regardless, murder charges need to be filed for those who have died and assault or attempted murder for those who are still suffering from this negligence. AT THE VERY LEAST…TREASON!

Am I being to hard on these losers? And don’t even try to use the “it’s a war zone” excuse. That’s BS!

Just before I hit the “publish” button this came out from the Associate Press. click HERE

Ms Sparky