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Berta, November 30, 2011 in VA Claims Read First Pinned Topics
"November 29, 2011
Director (00/21) In Reply Refer To:
All VA Regional Offices Training Letter 11-03 (Revised)
SUBJ: Processing Disability Claims Based on Exposure to Contaminated Drinking
Water at Camp Lejeune
This updated training letter incorporates multiple recommendations provided by other
interested organizations, including the Department of Defense, Department of Justice, and
Office of Management and Budget. It also reflects the Environmental Protection Agency's
revised assessment of trichloroethylene (TCE), now characterized as "carcinogenic to
humans" by all routes of exposure.
Veterans who served at U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, were
potentially exposed to contaminants present in the base water supply prior to 1987. The
chemical compounds involved have been associated by various scientific organizations
with the possible development of certain chronic diseases. However, many unanswered
questions remain regarding the extent of base water contamination, the type and duration
of exposure experienced by base personnel, and the likelihood that contaminant levels in
the water supply were high enough to result in a particular disease.
While these issues are being studied, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has
determined that disability claims from Veterans who served at Camp Lejeune during this
period deserve special handling to ensure fairness and consistency in claims processing.
As a result, adjudication of these claims has been centralized at the Louisville, Kentucky,
Regional Office with tracking measures initiated. Technical aspects related to processing
these claims are outlined in Fast Letter 11-03, Consolidation and Processing of Disability
Claims Based on Exposure to Contaminated Drinking Water at Camp Lejeune, North
This training letter was developed to provide additional background information on the
Camp Lejeune situation, as well as to provide specific guidance for issues related to
claims development and adjudication. The current guidance supersedes the initial release
and the Camp Lejeune section of Training Letter 10-03, Environmental Hazards in Iraq,
Afghanistan, and Other Military Installations."
Courtesy of my friend Bob Walsh , veteran's attorney- who just got this new training letter.
The 10-03 Environmental Hazard Training letter should be in our training letter forum.
The FAst letter they refer to is here:
I added this part of the Fast Letter:
"From 1957 through 1987, persons residing or working at the U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, were potentially exposed to drinking water contaminated with volatile organic compounds, including benzene, vinyl chloride, tetrachloroethylene (PCE) and trichloroethylene (TCE). Claims based on service at Camp Lejeune involve potentially complex issues of exposure and causation, and VA remains concerned about the potential for harmful effects associated with past exposure to the contaminated water supply. As the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, which has been contracted by the Department of the Navy, continues to research the effects of exposure from this incident, VA must be prepared to evaluate claims based on such exposure in a consistent manner. By centralizing jurisdiction to the Louisville RO, VA enhances its ability to process these claims efficiently and consistently."
This could potentially involve thousand of Marines and even their family members exposed to these contaminates.They could have caused many types of disability.
I am pinning this topic.
Here's the full document. Until I can transfer it into the Training Letter Forum, I thought posting it here would help. :)
p.s. I'm working on it, but will be awhile until I include in here. Have a few others I want to do also.
Thank you Berta for all the hard work you put forth to keep us advised on the Camp Lejeune Waters. I for one just recieved a Health Survey from the ATSDR Health Survey of Marine Corps Personnel and Civilians. Looks like it's going to take awhile to complete this, for it has over 26 pages of questions. And it looks like it has to be turned in before the end of the month. Once again thank you.
There is an interesting side note to this whole controversy; Camp Lejeune, (I spent many days there as a dependent and on active duty.) is the only site that DOD was obligated to report. The EPA and DOD also lists many other bases on their "Superfund" sites, but the onus is on the servicemember/veteran, or dependents to inquire and possibly file a claim on their own for any possible conditions and illnesses.
If you go to the EPA's supefund site, it will list all bases that have had issues just like Camp Lejeune.