Public Law 112-260
To amend title 38, United States Code, to ensure that deceased veterans with no known next of kin can receive a dignified burial, and for other purposes.
Jan. 10, 2013
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
|Dignified Burial and Other Veterans’ Benefits Improvement Act of 2012. 38 USC 101 note.|
|SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.|
(a) SHORT TITLE.—This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Dignified Burial and Other Veterans’ Benefits Improvement Act of 2012’’.
(b) TABLE OF CONTENTS.—The table of contents for this Act is as follows:
TITLE II—HEALTH CARE
Sec. 201. Establishment of open burn pit registry.
38USC527note.SEC. 201. ESTABLISHMENT OF OPEN BURN PIT REGISTRY.
(a) ESTABLISHMENT OF REGISTRY.—
(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall—
(A) establish and maintain an open burn pit registry for eligible individuals who may have been exposed to toxic airborne chemicals and fumes caused by open burn pits;
(B) include any information in such registry that the Secretary of Veterans Affairs determines necessary to ascertain and monitor the health effects of the exposure of members of the Armed Forces to toxic airborne chemicals and fumes caused by open burn pits;
(C) develop a public information campaign to inform eligible individuals about the open burn pit registry, including how to register and the benefits of registering; and
(D) periodically notify eligible individuals of significant developments in the study and treatment of conditions associated with exposure to toxic airborne chemicals and fumes caused by open burn pits.
(2) COORDINATION.—The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall coordinate with the Secretary of Defense in carrying out paragraph (1).
(b) REPORT TO CONGRESS.—
(1) REPORTS BY INDEPENDENT SCIENTIFIC ORGANIZATION.—The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall enter into an agreement with an independent scientific organization to prepare reports as follows:
(A) Not later than two years after the date on which the registry under subsection (a) is established, an initial report containing the following:
(i) An assessment of the effectiveness of actions taken by the Secretaries to collect and maintain information on the health effects of exposure to toxic airborne chemicals and fumes caused by open burn pits.
(ii) Using established and previously published epidemiological studies, recommendations regarding the most effective and prudent means of addressing the medical needs of eligible individuals with respect to conditions that are likely to result from exposure to open burn pits.
(B) Not later than five years after completing the initial report described in subparagraph (A), a follow-up report containing the following:
(i) An update to the initial report described in subparagraph (A).
(ii) An assessment of whether and to what degree the content of the registry established under subsection (a) is current and scientifically up-to-date.
(2) SUBMITTAL TO CONGRESS.—
(A) INITIAL REPORT.—Not later than two years after the date on which the registry under subsection (a) is established, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall submit to Congress the initial report prepared under paragraph (1)(A).
(B) FOLLOW-UP REPORT.—Not later than five years after submitting the report under subparagraph (A), the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall submit to Congress the follow-up report prepared under paragraph (1)(B).
(b) DEFINITIONS.—In this section:
(1) ELIGIBLE INDIVIDUAL.—The term ‘‘eligible individual’’ means any individual who, on or after September 11, 2001—
(A) was deployed in support of a contingency operation while serving in the Armed Forces; and
(B) during such deployment, was based or stationed at a location where an open burn pit was used.
(2) OPEN BURN PIT.—The term ‘‘open burn pit’’ means an area of land located in Afghanistan or Iraq that—
(A) is designated by the Secretary of Defense to be used for disposing solid waste by burning in the outdoor air; and
(B) does not contain a commercially manufactured incinerator or other equipment specifically designed and manufactured for the burning of solid waste.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY—S. 3202:
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 158 (2012):
Dec. 19, considered and passed Senate. Dec. 30,
considered and passed House.
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