Camp Lejeune Toxic Water Survey Planned, Bill to Aid Vets, Families Reintroduced in CongressMay 20, 2011 | Parker Waichman LLP
There are some major developments to report in the Camp Lejeune toxic water controversy. These include a major study to assess the health affects of drinking the base’s poisoned water, and the reintroduction of legislation in the U.S. Congress that would benefit many of those sickened by the water.
The health study will be conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control's Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). According to an agency press release, the study will consist of a survey of persons who resided or worked at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina before 1986 and might have been exposed to contaminated drinking water.
Eligible participants who were formerly at Camp Lejeune include:
• Former active duty marines and sailors who were stationed at Camp Lejeune any time during June 1975--December 1985.
• Civilian employees who worked at Camp Lejeune any time during December 1972--December 1985.
• Families who took part in the 1999--2002 ATSDR telephone survey of childhood cancers and birth defects.
• Persons who registered with the Camp Lejeune notification registry
Additional information on the Camp Lejeune toxic water survey is available at the ASTDR website.
Meanwhile the Janey Ensminger Act has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives for the second time. If it becomes law this time, the bill would allow veterans and family members whose health was endangered by Camp Lejeune’s tainted water to receive health care through the Department of Veterans Affairs. It would also create a presumptive link between contaminated drinking water and certain diseases that have plagued veterans and their families who lived there from the mid-1950s to the mid-1980s. The legislation was named in honor of a 9-year-old girl who died of childhood leukemia believed to have been caused by the Camp Lejeune water.
Unfortunately, the bill does not provide for civilians who worked at the base during the period of contamination.
A similar bill, the Caring for Camp Lejeune Veterans Act of 2011, was introduced in the Senate in February.