The United States Marine Base Camp Lejeune is under fire as officials link exposure to contaminated water to millions of serious health conditions and death.
Camp LeJeune Justice Act of 2022
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 was proposed to establish a resolution to over one million men, women, and children who endured long-lasting effects from water contamination on the Marine base, Camp LeJeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina.
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 permits any person who lived or worked on Camp LeJeune between August 1953 – December 1987 to file a claim against the U.S government. This bill honors a long-awaited relief to the victims poisoned during their time of service.
What’s in the Water?
High levels of harmful chemicals including Benzene, Tetrachloroethylene, Trichloroethylene (TCE), and Vinyl chloride (VC) were discovered in Camp Lejeune’s water supply in 1982, with an unfortunate history of exposure dating back to 1953.
The variety of chemicals the population was exposed to are identified as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) which have a high vapor pressure with low water solubility. Many VOCs are manmade and used for thousands of products like paints and lacquers, paint strippers, cleaning supplies, pesticides, building materials, and more. These volatile organic chemicals like Benzene, TCE, and VC are proven to be carcinogenic and extremely harmful to surrounding life.
How did the water get contaminated?
Initial contamination can be credited to external factors as well as direct pollution from activities on base. According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, “The source of the contamination was the waste disposal practices at ABC One-Hour Cleaners, an off-base dry-cleaning firm” (2014). The marine base’s proximity to a large dry-cleaning facility using unsafe dumping solutions resulted in high levels of chemicals in the nearby water supply.
In addition, harsh chemicals were used to clean industrial-military gear where the runoff impacted the areas water quality while significant amounts of fuel leakage originating from deteriorating fuel tanks located underground had an impact.
Did the military Ignore and Conceal the Water Contamination at Camp Lejeune? Is Camp Lejeune Water Still Contaminated?
While there is no clear evidence that implies the military was aware of these toxic levels at the time, the base played a role in the pollution. Like Camp Lejeune, many other military bases are heavily polluted, many of which are identified as Superfund Sites. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) carries out the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) created in 1980, to remedy contaminated sites. CERCLA is informally known as Superfund providing the “EPA the funds and authority to clean up contaminated sites” (2021).
Camp LeJeune is one of the 141 Superfund Sites that require immediate government support to get back to a safe state. At this point, the EPA states, “Remedy implementation began in 2020 and will continue through 2022” (2022). Efforts are being made today but the water is still not adequate for safe use.
An array of health concerns is linked to consistent consumption of the water in Camp LeJeune Jacksonville, North Carolina. Some health issues have had serious effects on not only those who lived on base during the time of contamination, but generations to come.
As of March 7, 2022, The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs acknowledges a variety of illnesses associated with high levels of toxics in the Camp Lejeune water supply.
- Adult leukemia
- Aplastic anemia
- Myelodysplastic syndromes
- Bladder cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Liver cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Parkinson’s disease
- Esophageal cancer
- Breast cancer
- Renal toxicity
- Lung cancer
- Hepatic steatosis
- Female infertility
- Neurobehavioral effects
A large portion of the medical complications linked to the contamination is that of children, babies, and unborn utero on base from 1953-1987. Dependents living on base at the time are some of the individuals who are experiencing life-threatening illnesses today.
Many of the children on Camp Lejeune did not make it to adulthood due to serious birth defects or early childhood cancers. Miscarriages and unexplainable infant deaths can be directly linked to the high levels of toxins in the drinking water.
Camp Lejeune Legislative Updates
On March 3, 2022, the Camp Lejeune Act of 2022 passed through Congress and then the Senate on June 16, 2022. As of now, the act is in its final stage of approval. When it is finalized anyone who was exposed to water at Camp Lejeune between 1953 -1987 has the right to file a Camp Lejeune water lawsuit and receive compensation for the pain and suffering sustained from their stay.
What Does the Camp Lejeune Justice Act Mean for Me?
As a member of the Camp Lejeune community from 1953-1987, you may be eligible to file a contaminated water lawsuit against the U.S. government. If you, your family, or even your unborn child was exposed to the toxic drinking water on the base and suffered any form of adverse medical condition you have rights. For information on Camp Lejeune water contamination and questions about camp Lejeune water contamination settlement amounts, visit our website here.
If you, or someone you know, had exposure to the water at Camp Lejeune during the contaminated period through drinking, eating, cleaning, bathing, and overall daily use, contact Rob Levine & Associates for legal representation today!