January 31, 2024

Ranking Member Takano Statement on CDC Camp Lejeune Cancer Incidence Study

Press Contact

Libby Carlson

WASHINGTON- House Committee of Veterans’ Affairs Ranking Member Mark Takano (CA-39) released the following statement in response to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) releasing its Evaluation of Cancer Incidence Among Marines and Navy Personnel and Civilian Workers Exposed to Contaminated Drinking Water at USMC Base Camp Lejeune: A Cohort Study. The findings of this study showed that civilian workers, Marine/Navy Personnel, and their families have experienced increased risk of several types of cancers due to the contamination of drinking water at Camp LeJeune.  

Ranking Member Takano said, “Safe and clean access to drinking water is a basic human right and sadly the country failed our veterans by ignoring the contamination. The Department of Defense and the Navy knew the drinking water at Camp Lejeune was contaminated and failed to act, resulting in generational illness and suffering within families that never should have happened. I am glad that the CDC conducted this study, to validate what we knew all along and bring clarity to veterans, civilian personnel, and their families. It underscores why the Department of Veterans Affairs offers healthcare and disability benefits for conditions related to Camp LeJeune drinking water. And it reinforces our decision to include the Camp Lejeune Justice Act in the Honoring our PACT Act in 2022. I expect the Department of Justice and the Department of the Navy to move swiftly to right these wrongs out of respect for these families that have been impacted.” 

Last year Ranking Member Takano and Congressman Jerrold Nadler, Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, worked together to introduce the Protect Access to Justice for Veterans Act (H.R. 1204), ensuring fairness in attorney fees for settlements and claims made by individuals who were exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. This legislation builds on the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, which became law in 2022 as part of the Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act.