Wounded Times

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Camp Lejeune's Marine families may have to wait longer

Camp Lejeune's water woes keep growing worse
The Virginian-Pilot
© March 26, 2013

Evidence of one of the worst cases of drinking water contamination in American history continues to build at Camp Lejeune. So, unfortunately, does the record of disastrous responses by federal authorities.

In August, President Barack Obama signed a bill to open up more health care resources for an estimated 1 million Marines and family members exposed to carcinogens at the base in Jacksonville, N.C., during a 30-year period ending in 1987.

But officials at the Department of Veterans Affairs now say it may take until next year, or even early 2015, before the law is fully implemented.

In the meantime, it appears the VA is doing little to accelerate benefit claims; since December 2010, the department has rejected 75 percent of the 1,483 veterans who've sought benefits.

News of the delay arrives amid a new study showing that the contamination began earlier than previously thought. Drinking water from wells tainted by leaking fuel tanks and an off-base dry cleaner have been linked to cancer, birth defects and other health problems.
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