Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

If you served or lived at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune or Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River in North Carolina between 1953 and 1987, it is highly likely that you had contact with contaminants in the drinking water there. Scientific and medical evidence has shown a significant association between exposure to these contaminants during military service and development of certain diseases later in life. Routine water testing found that drinking water sources at Camp Lejeune were contaminated with toxic chemicals including:

  • Benzene
  • Trichloroethylene (TCE)
  • Tetrachloroethylene
  • Perchloroethylene (PCE)
  • Vinyl Chloride (VC)

The above contaminants are known carcinogens and are proven to be harmful to humans. Contamination of the water Camp Lejeune was found to have up to 300 times acceptable levels of these contaminants in some instances. The government knew about this yet covered it up and hid behind legal loopholes. Finally justice is coming for potentially millions of our veterans and their families who lived and worked at Camp Lejeune.

Do I qualify to file a claim against the government for my Camp Lejeune related injuries?

To qualify for compensation resulting from Camp Lejeune related injuries, an individual must meet the following criteria.

1. Victim must have lived or worked on base at Camp Lejeune for a minimum of 30 consecutive days during the period beginning August 1, 1953, and ending December 31, 1987. A qualifying victim can include:

  • A veteran, reservist, guardsman or their legal representative
  • The spouse of a veteran, reservist, guardsman
  • The ex-spouse of a veteran, reservist, guardsman (certain conditions apply)
  • The biological child of a veteran, reservist, guardsman (alive at the time)
  • The biological child of a veteran, reservist, guardsman (in utero at the time)
  • The stepchild of a veteran, reservist, guardsman
  • The legal dependent of a veteran, reservist, guardsman (living with him/her at the time)
  • Civilian contractor (who worked on base at the time)

2. Victim must have been exposed to the water at Camp Lejeune that was supplied by the United States or on its behalf.

3. Victim must have been diagnosed with one of the following diseases* after having lived or worked at Camp Lejeune for a minimum of 30 consecutive days during the aforementioned dates:

  • Aplastic Anemia
  • Bladder Cancer
  • Cardiac Defects
  • Kidney Cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Liver Cancer
  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Myelodysplastic Syndrome
  • Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Systemic Sclerosis/Scleroderma

The following injuries may also qualify for compensation:

  • Breast Cancer
  • Esophageal Cancer
  • Female Infertility
  • Hepatic Steatosis
  • Lung Cancer
  • Miscarriage
  • Neurobehavioral Effects
  • Renal Toxicity Scleroderma

Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022

POSSIBLE SYMPTOMS OF ELMIRON-RELATED RETINAL MACULOPATHY

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 is a bipartisan bill intended to ensure that veterans, their family members or other individuals living or working at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987, who were harmed by the contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune can finally receive the fair compensation the deserve. Many of these individuals have had their claims inappropriately denied or delayed, resulting in additional harm.

The Bill is making its way through Congress as part of the Honoring Our PACT Act of 2022, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives on March 4, 2022. The Act will permit people who worked, lived, or were exposed in-utero, to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987, to file a claim in U.S. federal court.

People or loved ones of those who lived, worked, or were stationed at Camp Lejeune who experienced a water toxicity-related illness may finally be eligible for compensation.

How did the water supply get contaminated?

"From 1953 to 1987, more than a million men, women, and children bathed in and ingested Camp Lejeune’s toxic water. Hundreds of babies died, so many filling a stretch of a nearby cemetery that it received the grim title “Baby Heaven.”"

For years, government officials covered up their crime. Then, when the truth came out, they relied on legal loopholes to escape the consequences. North Carolina’s strict 10-year statute of repose, which has been altered by the state legislature but still applies to past cases, denies most families the ability to sue in court. Moreover, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has refused care to those in need on the basis of “insufficient evidence of causation.”

Former residents of Camp Lejeune served their country in the belief that their government would take care of them. Yet, like members of the military exposed to toxic burn pits on tours of duty, they have received nothing but excuses. They deserve justice—the time for delays is over.

Fortunately, change appears to be coming.

Hadnot Point water treatment plant began operation in 1942 and supplied water to the Mainside Barracks, Hospital Point Family Housing, Family Housing at Midway Park, Paradise Point and Berkeley Manor. Hadnot Point had multiple sources of contamination streaming from leaks in underground storage tanks, industrial area spills and waste disposal sites. VOCs identified at Hadnot Point are PCE, Benzene and Vinyl Chloride.

Tarawa Terrace water treatment plant began operation in 1952 and supplied water to Tarawa Terrace family housing and Knox Trailer Park. The source of contamination was identified as an off-base dry cleaning company, ABC One-Hour Cleaners, through their waste disposal practices.

The most contaminated wells were shut down in February of 1985.

Until now, victims of Camp Lejeune water toxicity-related illnesses have been denied justice leading to many suffering additional harm. With the potential passing of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 this may give hope to those who have suffered for so many years.

Additional Resources

VA – Camp Lejeune water contamination health issues

Camp Lejeune Just Act

Taking care of veterans means getting justice for Camp Lejeune

Camp Lejeune toxic water victims eye justice as pivotal House bill passes

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Were you or a loved one a veteran, reservist, guardsman, contractor, or family member who lived or worked on base at Camp Lejeune between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987 and has suffered from a wide range in illnesses ranging from cancer to Parkinson’s Disease?

You may qualify for compensation.

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