The House of Representatives has passed a bill that would ban burn pits on military bases. It's a bill that local Congressman, Dr. Raul Ruiz, also a co-sponsor, has been advocating for a year and a half.
The 'Helping Veterans Exposed to Burn Pits Act' would create burn pit resource centers for veterans. It renames the "airborne hazards centers of excellence" and adds $5 million in additional funding for burn pit study and research.
Burn pits have been used on military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan to burn all waste on the base. Such items would include plastics, aerosol cans, electronic equipment, human waste, metal containers, tires, and batteries. Many service members have complained about health issues including cancer, neurological and reproductive problems, and trouble breathing.
The bill passed with 377 voting yes and 20 no.
A little over a year ago, in an I-Team investigation, John White brought you the story of Jennifer Kepner, a Cathedral City resident who served in the Air Force in Iraq. She was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and blamed her cancer on exposure to burn pits. Kepner was an advocate for awareness and putting a stop to the use of burn pits.