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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Public Law 112-260." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Assessment of the Department of Veterans Affairs Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23677.
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Appendix A

Public Law 112-260

Public Law 112-260
112th Congress

An Act

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
[S.3202]

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.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Public Law 112-260." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Assessment of the Department of Veterans Affairs Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23677.
×

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.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Public Law 112-260." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Assessment of the Department of Veterans Affairs Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23677.
×

information.

(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.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Public Law 112-260." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Assessment of the Department of Veterans Affairs Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23677.
×

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Public Law 112-260." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Assessment of the Department of Veterans Affairs Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23677.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Public Law 112-260." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Assessment of the Department of Veterans Affairs Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23677.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Public Law 112-260." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Assessment of the Department of Veterans Affairs Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23677.
×
Page 167
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Public Law 112-260." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Assessment of the Department of Veterans Affairs Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23677.
×
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Military operations produce a great deal of trash in an environment where standard waste management practices may be subordinated to more pressing concerns. As a result, ground forces have long relied on incineration in open-air pits as a means of getting rid of refuse. Concerns over possible adverse effects of exposure to smoke from trash burning in the theater were first expressed in the wake of the 1990–1991 Gulf War and stimulated a series of studies that indicated that exposures to smoke from oil-well fires and from other combustion sources, including waste burning, were stressors for troops. In January 2013, Congress directed the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to establish and maintain a registry for service members who may have been exposed to toxic airborne chemicals and fumes generated by open burn pits.

Assessment of the Department of Veterans Affairs Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry analyzes the initial months of data collected by the registry and offers recommendations on ways to improve the instrument and best use the information it collects. This report assesses the effectiveness of the VA’s information gathering efforts and provides recommendations for addressing the future medical needs of the affected groups, and provides recommendations on collecting, maintaining, and monitoring information collected by the VA’s Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry.

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