State News

Hagan backs amendment on Camp Lejeune water

Posted October 7, 2009

— North Carolina's junior senator has added an amendment in a bill to prevent the Navy from dismissing claims regarding water contamination at Camp Lejeune.

Sen. Kay Hagan's amendment, also sponsored by Republican Sen. Richard Burr, passed Tuesday night. It prevents the Navy from dismissing claims until two Centers for Disease Control studies are completed.

The CDC's health study and water model could take two years to complete. Hagan said the studies are critical to prove if the exposure to chemicals resulted in illnesses.

Lejeune water, contaminated water, tainted water Hagan backs amendment on Lejeune water

“I think they’ve worked their entire careers successfully completing their mission that they were asked to start,” Hagan told CNN on Wednesday. “I think it’s our mission to give them complete answers and if we stop now our mission would not be accomplished.”

Many said they believe exposure to the water led to miscarriages, birth defects and cancer.

Rep. Brad Miller, a Democrat from North Carolina, plans to submit the legislation later this month to give Department of Veterans Affairs health care to those exposed to contaminated water.

Miller’s bill is a companion bill to Burr’s "Caring for Camp Lejeune Veterans Act of 2009.”

Miller chairs the House Committee on Science and Technology's Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight and has held hearings on the issue.

The proposed bills would grant care at a VA facility to any veteran or family member who was based at Camp Lejeune during the time the water was contaminated and suffers from adverse health effects.

The bills do not specify what kind of health problems, only that they are connected to exposure to contaminated water.

Health officials say it is impossible to know how many people would qualify. They believe as many as 1 million people may have been exposed to the toxins trichloroethylene (TCE) or perchloroethylene (PCE) before the wells were closed 22 years ago.

Officials closed the wells in 1987 after 30 years' of use.

7 Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • roncorey1 Oct 9, 3:22 p.m.

    Good job Sen. Hagan!!

  • SomeRandomGuy Oct 8, 1:32 p.m.

    So there's an amendment ATTACHED to a bill, did the BILL pass? Or is it attached to the healthcare bill?

  • mep Oct 8, 10:29 a.m.

    It would have been nice to see ALL of our govt reps involved in this bill/effort to be mentioned in the headline. Hagan is still doing a poor job of maintaining any sort of timely or meaningful communication with her constituents. Our "junior Senator" needs to get her office in order.

  • Libandproud Oct 8, 9:56 a.m.

    Good bipartisan effort, and proof that Republicans and Democrats are capable of working together for the common good. Just wish we could see more of it.

  • RedStatesManWatts Oct 8, 9:43 a.m.

    Should have put up both senator's pictures since both are invloved. Must always remember we have politically impaired voters out here that get the wrong perception.

  • lemonchar Oct 8, 9:00 a.m.

    I'm glad somebody's standing up for the troops who do all the work...big military can't sweep this stuff under the rug forever; they have to do right by their own troops (and their families!) first and foremost.

  • NCStatePack Oct 8, 8:47 a.m.

    Good to see the senators are looking out for the local vets. Kudos