Accession Number:



Exposure to Sodium Dichromate at Qarmat Ali Iraq in 2003: Part 2 -- Evaluation of Army and Contractor Actions Related to Hazardous Industrial Exposure

Descriptive Note:

Audit rept.

Corporate Author:


Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



In response to requests from the Senate Armed Services and Democratic Policy Committees, we reviewed DoD actions regarding the exposure of approximately 1,000 U.S. Army soldiers and U.S. Army civilian employees to sodium dichromate at the Qarmat Ali water treatment plant in 2003. This report discusses U.S. Army, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Combined Forces Land Component Command, and contractor actions from April 2003 to January 2004 specific to the exposure at the Qarmat Ali facility. The team also examined documents totaling over 83,000 pages provided by the U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the on-site contractor, KBR, related to operations at the Qarmat Ali water treatment plant. We took sworn testimony from 19 individuals assigned to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with duty at Qarmat Ali during 2003. We found that DoD military, civilian, and contractor personnel did not effectively address environmental hazards found prior to beginning work to restore to service the water treatment plant at Qarmat Ali, Iraq, in 2003. Preparation was inadequate because contract language describing the site clearance process was impractical. Moreover, the Army changed the contract scope of work after contractor elements deployed to Kuwait. As a result, Service members and DoD civilian employees were unintentionally exposed to toxic chemicals and the U.S. Government was made vulnerable to potential health care liabilities for individuals exposed to contamination. Contractor recognition of, and response to, the health hazard represented by sodium dichromate contamination, once identified at the Qarmat Ali facility, was delayed. The delay occurred because KBR did not fully comply with occupational safety and health standards required by the contract. The DoD response to identified sodium dichromate contamination at the Qarmat Ali facility in 2003 lacked urgency and was incomplete.

Subject Categories:

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Manufacturing and Industrial Engineering and Control of Production Systems
  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Air Pollution and Control
  • Solid Wastes and Pollution and Control

Distribution Statement: