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May-05-2011 12:20printcomments

Janey Ensminger Act to Care for Camp Lejeune Families Reintroduced

U.S. Reps. Brad Miller and John D. Dingell Reintroduce legislation to aid Marines & civilians whose lives were impacted by Camp Lejeune's toxic water.

Janey Ensminger, the 9-year old daughter of former Marine Jerry Ensminger, who died of a rare leukemia.
Janey Ensminger, the 9-year old daughter of former Marine Jerry Ensminger, who died of a rare leukemia.

(WASHINGTON D.C.) - Today, U.S. Reps. Brad Miller (D-NC13) and John D. Dingell (D-MI15) reintroduced a bill that would require the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide health care to veterans and their families who have suffered adverse health effects after exposure to toxic water at the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

The bill is named after Janey Ensminger, the 9-year old daughter of former Marine Jerry Ensminger, who died of a rare leukemia. Ensminger's search for answers led him to the discovery of one of the largest water contamination cover-ups in history and is the subject of an award-winning documentary:

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"More than a million Marines or their families were exposed to the toxic water at Camp Lejeune," Rep. Miller said. "Passing this legislation is the next step in acknowledging responsibility for the harm the water contamination has done and providing justice for families like Jerry's."

Marines and their families who lived on Camp Lejeune between 1957 and 1987 have become ill with cancers such as male breast cancer, childhood leukemia and other diseases believed to be linked to the drinking water at Camp Lejeune.

Marines and their families at Camp Lejeune drank, bathed in, and cooked with water contaminated by various volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including Trichloroethylene (TCE) and Tetrachloroethylene (PCE), benzene and vinyl chloride. In certain cases the contamination was as high as 280 times the safe level based on Safe Drinking Water Act regulations.

Reps. Brad Miller and John Dingle

"25 years after the wells were shut down, Marines and their families still don't have answers about the contaminated water they were exposed to. For some of them, like Jerry and his late daughter, justice will never be served," said Rep. Dingell.

"For others, this legislation offers suffering veterans and their families a chance to right some of the wrongs by getting treatment and care to which they are entitled."

The Janey Ensminger Act would establish a presumption of service connection for disabilities or illnesses associated with exposure to these toxins, in service members stationed at Camp Lejeune during the time of the contamination. The bill would also require the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide health care to family members who have a disability or illness as a result of exposure to contaminated well water at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. While the Department of Veterans Affairs has made strides in processing the claims of Lejeune veterans, there is still a large amount of uncertainty for these Marines and their families.

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stephen Williams May 27, 2014 9:53 am (Pacific time)

I was based on Camp Le June in 1960 for two years as a 20 year old Private just out of Paris Island. I remember pouring, what was supposed to be bleach into a large underwater water supply one day working with base personel. I was told that It was to clean the water. Now I've been told that If I drank the water during that period of time It could cause Leukemia or some other problem ? Should I be talking to an attorney ?

Marc April 21, 2012 7:24 am (Pacific time)

My dad was on Lejeune in the early 60's.. and i was there in the early 80's... my dad has MS and the VA will do nothing for him... hopefully this will pas and he can get what he deserves.. thanks to all involved

Editor: Some good people are trying hard to make a difference over this base and they are getting somewhere,  thanks for dropping by.

cynthia rothrock February 25, 2012 10:46 am (Pacific time)

I lived on base for 4 years, I had 2 children during that time. My son was born with deformed eyes and a deviated nassel septrum among other things. He was born blind. My daughter was also afected. My husband Sgt Erwood D Parrott cleaned the onslow beach tower in July 1978. that tower had been tested in 1977 and they said it was alright. my husband died setember 14th 1987, he was 33 years old. his death certificate didnt have enough room to list all that was wrong with him. He went from normal to a person with a blown up body and his bones were breaking for no reason. His lungs was deasied and was taking chemo thorpy. He also had a brain tumor on top of everything ealse. I beleve with all my heart it was the contaminated water at camp Lejeune was the reason.I also have health problems. I can not believe this is taking so long to get some answers. My children were 12 and 10 when there dad died.

Mike D. June 26, 2011 11:18 am (Pacific time)

All camp lejeune vets (that are still alive) disabled by the toxic water are thankful for Rep. Miller and Dingle's efforts to help.. it has been a long painful journey I pray our VA benefits will soon be released we have suffered for to long. Amen

John Olin May 29, 2011 8:14 pm (Pacific time)

Lejeune Day Care bldg. 712: Based on 3million ppb of DDT in the soil in 1992 with a half life of 5 years in that climate - there would be 12 million ppb in the soil in 1982 and 384 million ppb in the soil in 1957. 384 million ppb is equivalent to a concentration of 38.4%. Do what is right people!

Anonymous May 8, 2011 6:27 am (Pacific time)

Thank you Congressmen, and Jerry and family. Our two kids are totally disabled from the toxic water. Michael Glenn

Linda Ranes May 5, 2011 11:12 pm (Pacific time)

We have been waiting way to long for help. I hope our Congressmen will do what is right (doesn't leave this bill in committee). Thank you Rep Miller and Rep Dingle for reintroducing this bill.

Colli May 5, 2011 1:19 pm (Pacific time)

This speaks highly of Rep. Miller and Dingle but poorly of the other members of Congress. Oh, that's right, this is a humanitarian effort - it neither buys votes nor lines pockets! Colli

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