Why has Camp Lejeune become such a hot topic of late?

The main gate to Camp Lejeune Marine Base outside Jacksonville, N.C., is shown on Friday, April 29, 2022. (AP Photo/Allen G. Breed) (Allen G. Breed, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

On Aug. 8, President Joe Biden signed into law a bill that culminated months of debate and votes in Congress.

Ever since, Camp Lejeune has been a talked about subject.

But what exactly is Camp Lejeune and why has it been a hot topic of late?

Here’s a brief primer on Camp Lejeune.

What is Camp Lejeune?

Camp Lejeune is a U.S. military training base located in Jacksonville, North Carolina. It is located along a 14-mile stretch of beaches and is the largest Marine Corps base on the East Coast. The base is 153,439 acres in size.

The base has a population of 170,000 people, according to the Marines’ website.

Why has there been such controversy regarding Camp Lejeune?

It was discovered that from 1953 until 1987, people who lived or worked at the camp drank and bathed in water that was contaminated with toxins.

Potential victims couldn’t get compensation because of a statute of repose in North Carolina that precludes the filing of tort claims after 10 years.

What did the new law do?

Well, the big thing it did was get the attention of attorneys around the country who have sprung into action and advertised their services.

The law essentially now overrides the statute in North Carolina and allows those exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune to seek compensation.

There are stipulations in place, such as having to prove there was harm caused by at least 30 days of exposure to the water.

The bill also prohibits an individual who brings such an action from bringing a separate tort action against the United States based on the same harm.

But after decades of controversy surrounding Camp Lejeune, the new law has given potential victims an opportunity to receive compensation and become a hot-button topic for many, most notably attorneys.

About the Author:

Keith is a member of Graham Media Group's Digital Content Team, which produces content for all the company's news websites.