"We found no evidence that representatives from either organization considered the presence of industrial or non-military environmental hazards in the decision to proceed to any oil infrastructure site, including the facility at Qarmat Ali," the report said.
Once there, it took at least two months for KBR to notify the government of potential soil contamination from the chemical, according to report.
The inspector general found that:
* KBR first reviewed an Iraqi operating manual that described the use of the chemical on May 31, 2003.
* In early June, a KBR employee observed and recorded discolored soils.
* Later in June, KBR and Task Force Restore Iraqi Oil representatives both reported the site was potentially contaminated, though that wasn't confirmed until KBR tested the site in mid August.
In the process, KBR failed to comply with workplace safety standards as required by its contract with the government, and the government failed to enforce KBR's compliance with those standards, the report found.
"Contractor recognition of, and response to, the health hazard represented by sodium dichromate contamination, once identified at the Qarmat Ali facility, was delayed," the report found.
"The delay occurred because KBR did not fully comply with occupational safety and health standards required by the contract, and Task Force Restore Iraqi Oil failed to enforce contractor compliance. As a result, a greater number of Service members and DOD civilian employees were exposed to sodium dichromate, and for longer periods, increasing the potential for chronic health effects and future liabilities."
KBR, along with subcontractor Halliburton, got the plant partially up and running by June 2003, before they identified the dust.
The report also said that KBR even attempted to purchase more of the chemical in July but canceled that plan in late August. The Iraqi oil company that had operated the facility also wanted to buy more sodium dichromate in December 2003, but KBR denied the request.
Sens. Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin, both D-W.Va., have both pressed government officials for answers about the exposure and for the troops to be provided military care.
"I'm glad I could play a role in helping our National Guard get answers in this terrible, deadly situation," Manchin said through a spokeswoman.
"This can never happen again, and as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I will work hard to make sure that the right safeguards are in place to protect all the men and women serving our country.
"For those West Virginians who were affected by these chemicals, my office will work with anyone who was affected to get the treatment they need."
Contact writer Ry Rivard at ry.riv...@dailymail.com or 304-348-1796.