Forward Observer — Regulation on Camp Lejeune’s Contaminated Drinking Water Presumptive Conditions Under Review.
Finally on 9 September, after waiting nine months since the announcement it would do so and after announcing in August it was extending the period of consideration, the VA announced it has published proposed regulations to establish presumptions for the service connection of eight diseases affecting military members [and others] exposed to contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
Last December, Secretary MacDonald acknowledged the link between exposure to certain chemicals found in the water supply at Camp Lejeune and later development of one of the proposed presumptive conditions. However, it believes there is ” … no scientific underpinning to support a specific minimum exposure level for any of the conditions. Therefore, VA welcomes comments on the 30-day minimum exposure requirement and will consider other practical alternatives when drafting the final rule.” Apparently the thirty day rule is a contentious issue — the idea of a blanket presumption being problematic for them. The following statement appears to confirm that suspicion: “VA also notes that the proposed 30-day requirement serves to establish eligibility for service connection on a presumptive basis; nothing in this proposed regulation prohibits consideration of service connection on a non-presumptive basis.”
The period for public comment ends on 10 October 2016. Maybe by next year we will have the regulation.
As of 16 September 2016