According to a news article published on rollcall.com, President Joe Biden signed a new bill into law that provides medical care and disability benefits to military veterans who were exposed to toxic substances while deployed.
The PACT Act also includes a provision that provides a new two-year window for victims of the Camp Lejeune contamination to file federal lawsuits against the government to recover monetary compensation and health benefits.
The PACT Act provides for veterans whose health was damaged by “burn pit” smoke while deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. The PACT Act will provide legal empowerment for exposed veterans and health benefits. The primary emphasis of the new law is to furnish Department of Veterans Affairs benefits to the estimated 3.5 million military service-members exposed to toxic burn pit smoke and later contracted illnesses and/or cancer.
The act also helps veterans and family members who were harmed by contaminated drinking water at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. The PACT Act reopens the statute of limitations for two additional years. The U.S. Navy has recognized that the base’s water supplies were contaminated for decades, from the 1950s to the 1980s. It is estimated that one million people lived at Camp Lejeune while toxic industrial chemicals were contaminating the groundwater.
The Camp Lejeune bill was added to the PACT Act this past summer. The PACT Act was signed into law by President Joe Biden. It is expected that the federal government will be ordered to pay out billions of dollars in compensatory damages.