Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Bill Passes Senate, Heads to House

The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a historic bill on Wednesday July 18th  intended to help thousands of sick Marine veterans and family members exposed to contaminated water from 1957 to 1987 at Camp Lejeune, a Marine Corps Base in N.C.

Sens. Patty Murray, head of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, and Jim DeMint, a South Carolina Republican, brokered the deal on the Senate floor.

“These families have waited for decades to get the assistance that they need and should not be forced to wait any longer,” Murray said from the Senate floor.

Last month, the House of Representatives and Senate veterans committees agreed on a bill that would provide health care to sick military personnel and their family members provided they’d lived or worked at least 30 days on the base from 1957 to 1987 and have a condition related to exposure to these chemicals.  The conditions are listed in the bill along with modifications to prevent fraudulent claims.

The Senate made some last minute changes to include language from existing laws that provides exceptions if a doctor can prove that the person didn’t contract the illness from the base’s contaminated water. For example, if the person had the illness before being at Camp Lejeune.

The changes ended a standoff between DeMint and Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., who was the lead sponsor of the measure.

“This has been a long time coming, and unfortunately many who were exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune over the years have died as a result and are not with us to receive the care this bill can provide,” Burr said in a statement. “While I wish we could have accomplished this years ago, we now have the opportunity to do the right thing for the thousands of Navy and Marine veterans and their families who were harmed during their service to our country.”

The measure is expected is expected to be voted on by the House in August, and is intended to help as many as 750,000 veterans and their families who were exposed to drinking water that was poisoned with trichloroethylene, tetrachloroethylene, benzene and vinyl chloride.

“This is a huge first step,” said Mike Partain of Tallahassee, Fla., who lived at Camp Lejeune as an infant. “We’ve been waiting for over 15 years for a resolution to this.”

Partain, who’s now 44, learned 5 years ago that he had breast cancer. Partain was born at Camp Lejeune, where his father was a Marine officer. Fewer than 2,000 men are diagnosed with breast cancer each year, but Partain said he’d since found 80 male breast cancer patients from across the country with connections to Camp Lejeune.

4 responses to “Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Bill Passes Senate, Heads to House

  1. we have been poisoned by the US government. How do you put stipulation on diseases or illness that are a result of their ignorance. I ran a man over and in the process it broke his leg but yet I’m not responsible for the the internal bleeding nor am I responsible for his loss of work or his medical bills he should have moved out of the way. Is this what Jerry wanted its appears this is what the Veterans and their families are entitled to. If the people that were poisoned at Camp Lejeune except this bill they are idiots. The United States government are thief’s they have stolen from the American Veterans and there families, and what I mean by stole they poisoned us witch is considered attempted murder, if you survived, and the ones who died that is a murder charge. The marines knew we were being poisoned and didn’t attempt to stop the poising. So lets just pay for a few illnesses and not for all the alignments because there might be fraud. the only fraud is jerry and the senators who proposed and got the bill passed for the government got away with murder and no one asked for justice. Justice is criminal proceedings those responsible for the contamination should be held liable. And all alignments should be addressed for they poisoned me, and I say I want justice for all. I was born into the chemicals. so the marines have not stood up to there motto yet semper fi. we are all still left behind. If you cant pay for all you should not pay for one.

  2. I was stationed at camp Lejuene in 1979 and 1980 I was diagnosed with polychemia Vera nineteen months ago – I am in clinical study at Huntsman cancer institute . Cancer does not run in my family . Related to my time at camp Lejuene

    • And here we all thought it was safe to drink the water. One thing is for sure, since I started writing and learning about Camp LeJuene and Ft. McClellan….I have bought filtration systems for my kitchen sink, shower, and a pur water filter for my drinking water. My prayers are with you. -Laurie

  3. Water filtration is the process of purifying water in order to remove unwanted solids, microorganisms, gases and chemical substances. The water is passed through a strainer which retains the solids and allows only water to pass through. There are many water filters out there to choose from but when you consider cost, effectiveness, efficiency, and convenience.”

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