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Lejeune Contaminated Water Bill Lives On

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By Maggie Martin

Wilmington, NC – U.S. Senator Richard Burr says he's disappointed his bill for healthcare to the Marines and families exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune is dead, but says he's not giving up.

Burr's proposed legislation called for the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide health care to those who were exposed to contaminated water between 1955 and 1987.

The Veterans Affairs Committee voted against the bill last week, passing instead legislation that would require the Department of Defense to provide care. Burr says he's not going to let the issue die in the Senate.

"I'm afraid that the bill that the committee passed will just go off into the darkness and people won't hear from it again. That's why I think it's absolutely crucial that I take my bill which provides the responsibility of the Veteran's administration and I allow my colleagues, all one hundred of them, on the Senate floor to vote up or down on that bill."

North Carolina Congressman Brad Miller unveiled a similar bill this week. But instead of Veterans Affairs, Miller's legislation calls for the Department of Defense to provide care to Marines and their families who have experienced health problems because of exposure.

It's still unclear whether there's a link between the contaminated water and the illnesses.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you. news@whqr.org.