PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Camp Lejeune vets suffer from drinking water contaminate "This is good news," said retired Marine Master Sgt. From the 1950s through the 1980s, people living or working at the U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, were potentially exposed to drinking water contaminated with industrial solvents, benzene, and other chemicals. Dec 27 at 5-6. Veterans and family members who served on active duty or resided at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina between Jan. 1, 1953 and Dec. 31, 1987 may be able to collect health and disability benefits for a number of medical conditions linked to the reported water contamination at the Marine Corps base. "It's kind of ironic that we have a part of our federal government that was created to protect our country and our way of life, and these people are now known to be our nation's largest polluter," Ensminger said. The study included 71 male breast cancer cases and 373 controls identified from the Department of Veteran’s … "We care about all our folks as a family," he said. We conducted a case–control study among Marines to evaluate associations between residential exposure to contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune and male breast cancer risk. Camp Lejeune, a military base in North Carolina, is home to hundreds of thousands of Marines and their families. A U.S. Marine patrols through a forest during a field exercise at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina on April 3, 2012. A Facebook page dedicated to the issue — called The Few, The Proud, The Forgotten — features stories of service members with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Parkinson's disease and various cancers, and includes dates of service at Camp Lejeune and the Marine Corps Air Station New River. The final argument is based on the Feres doctrine, a policy that prevents military members from suing the federal government for injuries incurred during their service. According to the EPA, there were many more (at varying levels) … The announcement drew a stinging response from Jerry Ensminger, a Marine veteran who spent 11 years at Camp Lejeune starting in 1970. From the 1950s until the late 1980s, people living or working at Camp Lejeune, a Marine Corps base in Jacksonville, North Carolina may have been exposed to the drinking water contaminated with dangerous chemicals, according to numerous government studies. Drinking water was made from treated groundwater supplied by a rotating combination of multiple wells so that not all wells were providing water to a system at any given time. Veteran Benefits Updates Many VA … Spurred by Ensminger’s case, Congress in 2012 passed a bill signed into law by President Barack Obama extending free VA medical care to affected veterans and their families. He said he made this decision so victims have a clear path to move forward. Over the years, social media has provided an outlet for survivors and families to post about their cases. Spurred by Ensminger, Congress passed a bill in 2012 that forced the Department of Veterans Affairs to extend free medical care to veterans and their families exposed to the tainted water. "I'm pissed off," said Ensminger, 66, of North Carolina. Yuma Marine Corps Air Station Yuma AZ. Veterans News - Camp Lejeune Contaminated Water Caused Conditions - Captured Live on Ustream at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/american-radio https://www.pbs.org/newshour/nation/u-s-pay-billions-marines-affected-contaminated-drinking-water, WATCH LIVE: House to debate $2,000 stimulus checks as part of COVID-19 relief, Schumer expected to raise $2,000 stimulus checks before Senate, ‘It’s just senseless.’ Despite COVID relief, unemployed Americans still worry about paying their bills, US officials: Suspect in Nashville explosion died in blast, What’s behind the historic spike in drug overdose deaths under COVID-19, ‘Trick Mirror’ is our January book club pick, Southwest pulls threat of furloughs after COVID-19 relief bill signed, Mexico may allow private firms to buy, distribute COVID-19 vaccines. The training facilities are situated on miles of beach between the deep water ports Morehead City and Wilmington. Veterans will have to submit evidence of their diagnoses and service information. Photo by Stocktrek Images/via Getty Images. Speaking to NBC News, Spencer said his decision was based on the fact that three separate legal statutes make the government immune from the claims. of concern at Camp Lejeune. Janey died from leukemia at age 9. IE 11 is not supported. But veterans were not automatically provided disability aid or survivor benefits. Spencer said he is open to more studies if the science changes and shows a direct correlation between the chemicals and these diseases. © 1996 - 2020 NewsHour Productions LLC. "It became apparent we had to make a decision," he said. IE 11 is not supported. Spencer said he was briefed on the legal limitations to the claims as soon as he took office 17 months ago. Ensminger now heads a veterans group, The Few, The Proud, The Forgotten, which advocates for those seeking disability compensation. In 2016, U.S. District Judge Thomas W. Thrash dismissed the Camp Lejeune MDL after ruling that North Carolina’s 10-year statute of repose—which is sort of like a statute of limitations (the window you must file a lawsuit in before being barred) —did, in fact, apply to plaintiffs’ claims of latent illnesses caused by the contaminated water. By Courtney Kube. If you were stationed or employed at Camp Lejeune between August 1 st, 1953 and December 31 st 1987, chances are you were exposed to significant amount of pollution through the facility’s water supply. Summary of the water modeling contamination situation at Camp Lejeune including water treatment plants serving base housing areas, sources of contamination, concentrations of chemicals detected, and water modeling … "I lived in Tarawa Terrace for several years as a young child. Reimbursement of prior payment of co-pays for treatment of any of these conditions is available, but only back to August 6, 2012, and only if veterans claim status as a Camp Lejeune vet by September 11, 2015. US officials: Suspect in Nashville explosion died in blast, By Lisa Mascaro, Jill Colvin, Andrew Taylor, Associated Press. Service members living on the base at the time, along with their families, were unknowingly drinking contaminated water, as well as cooking with it, bathing in it, and washing their clothes in it. "The truth is, there is still no smoking gun about causality," the official said. During that time, United States Marine Corps (USMC) service members and their families living at the base bathed in and ingested tap water that was contaminated with harmful chemicals at concentrations from 240 to 3400 times levels permitted by safety standards. "We are denying the claims to free everybody to take their own course of action," Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer said. Affected veterans who were stationed at Camp Lejeune may now submit applications for benefits. Sen. Tillis introduced legislation ensuring legal rights for Camp Lejeune water contamination victims after 'an anomaly' in application of state law SUBSCRIBE NOW As low as 99¢ for the first month The secretary of the Navy is denying all remaining civil claims by individuals exposed to contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune in … Some drinking water wells were closed in 1984 and 1985, after further testing confirmed contamination from leaking fuel tanks and an off-base dry cleaner. Jerry Ensminger, whose daughter Janey was … Has any one received any compensation as of this date. Reply. The new federal rule covers Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station New River, including satellite camps and housing areas. Hope Yen, Associated Press ", During a news conference Thursday announcing the decision, Spencer said he couldn't answer why any of his predecessors didn't make the decision. In an exclusive interview with NBC News, Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer defended the decision, saying the law does not support the claims. "The federal government knows they are guilty, so they're using every available legal gymnastics to exonerate themselves.". The secretary of the Navy is denying all remaining civil claims by individuals exposed to contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, leaving roughly 4,500 plaintiffs with claims of more than $963 billion in damages with no cash payouts. The first is based on a North Carolina law that sets a strict timeline of 10 years for an injured party to file a civil claim. In 2017, the Obama administration agreed to provide disability benefits totaling more than $2 billion to the veterans who had been exposed to the tainted drinking water while assigned to Camp Lejeune. The globe and anchor stand at the entrance to Camp Lejeune, N.C. U.S. Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer talks during a meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Specifically, from 1953 to 1987, everyone living or working at United States Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina was exposed to a variety of toxins in the water. at 5. These members who lived on Camp Lejeune, meet the time-on-station and service date requirements, and have one of the covered conditions. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser. "We are doing whatever we can on the health care side.". On Friday, outgoing Sec VA Robert McDonald approved massive payouts for an estimated 900,000 veterans exposed to toxic Camp Lejeune water. The estimated taxpayer cost is $2.2 billion over a five-year period. Find out if you can get VA disability pay and other benefits for illnesses related to Camp Lejeune water contamination. Because the two wells at Camp Lejeune closed in 1985, the deadline for filing passed in the late 1990s. The Department of Veterans Affairs has estimated that up to 900,000 service members were potentially exposed to the contaminated water. FAQs. Schumer expected to raise $2,000 stimulus checks before Senate, Read The Camp Lejeune water contamination problem occurred at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune from 1953 to 1987. Please check your inbox to confirm. The second argument for dismissing all the Camp Lejeune claims is based on an exemption to the Federal Tort Claims Act called discretionary function, which protects the U.S. government from lawsuits in cases in which negligence was not clearly established. 4 talking about this. He said she was the only one of his four children who was conceived and carried while the family was living at Camp Lejeune. Water contamination at Camp Lejeune existed for decades and exposed thousands of people to serious health risks. In the case of Camp Lejeune, no one was instructed to cut off the water supply, so there's no clear case of negligence, according to Spencer. Water Modeling. Dec 28 After years of waiting, veterans who were exposed to contaminated drinking water while assigned to Camp Lejeune in North Carolina may now be … Camp LeJeune Contaminated Water ***UPDATE: We are no longer accepting these cases. The bill boosts the maximum amount for hazardous duty incentive pay or imminent danger pay from $250 to $275 a month. Commonly asked questions and answers about Water Modeling at Camp Lejeune. The U.S. military has funded a number of studies to examine whether the chemicals caused the cancers and diseases. Read Learn how to file Camp Lejeune water contamination claims for … Additional Resources. Beginning in March, the cash payouts from the Department of Veterans Affairs may supplement VA health care already being provided to eligible veterans stationed at the Marine base for at least 30 cumulative days between Aug. 1, 1953, and Dec. 31, 1987. All Rights Reserved. Outgoing VA Secretary Bob McDonald determined that there was “sufficient scientific and medical evidence” to establish a connection between exposure to the contaminated water and eight medical conditions for purposes of awarding disability compensation. The plan is … “This is good news,” said retired Marine Master Sgt. Subscribe to Here’s the Deal, our politics newsletter for analysis you won’t find anywhere else. The 246-square-mile military training complex was established in 1941. Id. While these were prevalent in extraordinary amounts in the groundwater and soil for decades at Lejeune, they are not the only chemicals that were found. Servicemembers and their family members living at United States Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987 may have been exposed to contaminated drinking water as they were drinking it, as well as cooking with it, bathing in it, and washing their clothes in it. The VA estimates that as many as 900,000 service members were potentially exposed to the tainted water. Subscribe to ‘Here's the Deal,’ our politics newsletter. A senior defense official said the claimants really have no other legal recourse. The United States has spent more than $45 million on these studies over the years and has one underway that is expected to conclude in 2022. Ensminger's daughter, Janey, died of cancer at the age of nine in 1985. WASHINGTON — After years of waiting, veterans who were exposed to contaminated drinking water while assigned to Camp Lejeune in North Carolina may now be able to receive a portion of government disability benefits totaling more than $2 billion. The Marine Corps has said the contamination was unintentional, occurring when federal law didn’t limit toxins in drinking water. Contamination of two of the eight water sources serving the base populations at Camp LeJeune was first reported in 1982. Service connection for any disease alleged to have been caused by contaminated water at Camp Lejeune requires evidence of a current disease, evidence of service at Camp Lejeune during the period of contamination, and a medical nexus between the two, justified with a rational scientific explanation.

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