WILMINGTON – Senators Kay Hagan and Richard Burr are pushing for legislation that requires the Navy and Marine Corps to help complete studies looking into Camp Lejeune's tainted water.
Dirty water was used at the military base for decades from the 1950s up until tests confirmed it was toxic in 1985.
The provision would require the Navy and Marine Corps to hand over all information on the tainted water and complaints. These new studies by Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry will help affected families determine whether the tainted water increased their risk for cancers and other health defects.
"That's the information that we must deliver to the families so that the families can understand what has actually taken place and happened," Hagan, a Democrat, said.
Senators hope provisions to the Senate Defense Authorization Bill will speed up that process.
"This is a coordination that is necessary to help ATSDR complete the water modeling studies in a timely manner as possible and finally give these families at Camp Lejeune the answers that they deserve," Hagan said.
The Navy and Marine Corps have 90 days of the bill becoming law to hand over an inventory of the studies.
Burr, a Republican, said in a statement that families have waited long enough.
"The Department of the Navy continues to drag its feet when it comes to providing critical documents and information to ATSDR," Burr said. "It's time for the Navy to stop stonewalling the researchers who are simply trying to get to the bottom of the issue."
If the bill passes with the provisions, Hagan said it could still be more than a year before the study is complete. But she said there will be answers for these families.
"Finally give these families at Camp Lejeune the answers that they deserve," she said.