09.09.16

Senators Burr and Tillis Commend OMB on Swiftly Completing Review of Camp Lejeune Contaminated Water Rule

WASHINGTON — North Carolina Senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis today released the following statements on the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) review of the Camp Lejeune contaminated water rule, completed just three weeks after they sent a letter to Director Shaun Donovan urging the agency to grant disability benefits to poisoned Lejeune veterans:

“Many North Carolina veterans have lost their ability to work and their ability to support themselves financially because of the disabilities caused by toxic exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune,” said Senator Richard Burr (R-NC). “I am glad that OMB has quickly reviewed mine and Senator Tillis’ request to grant disability status to veterans suffering from diseases caused by poisoned water at Camp Lejeune – which include Parkinson’s Disease, Bladder Cancer and Leukemia. Now that the Department of Veterans Affairs has published the proposed rule, I’m looking forward to a substantive public feedback period. I’ll continue the fight to protect all of our veterans in the United States Senate.”

“The victims of Camp Lejeune’s water contamination disaster have waited far too long for justice, and prior OMB delays have been inexplicable,” said Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC). “It’s a relief to see movement, and now we begin the process of providing meaningful feedback to the VA about the details of the proposed program. I hope that the comment period will be substantive but swift and geared toward keeping faith with the veterans who have served our country so honorably.”

In the original letter to OMB, the senators wrote:

“The current process the VA has in place for evaluating disability claims from Camp Lejeune veterans is insufficient and mired in bureaucracy. This is leading to many disabled veterans, some terminally ill, being continually denied disability compensation from the VA despite exhaustive scientific research showing a clear causal connection between their medical conditions and the exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. The bureaucratic mistreatment of these veterans is unacceptable, and it cannot be allowed to continue.”

The full signed letter to Office of Management and Budget Director Shaun Donovan is available online here.

The Department of Veterans affairs has published the final rule in the federal register here.