Tom Udall, United States Senator and former member of the U.S. House of Representatives (D-New Mexico, 1999-2009) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
U.S. Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) reported today that the U.S. Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee unanimously passed legislation that includes S. 1798, The Open Burn Pits Registry Act.
Udall became an advocate for a burn pit registry after meeting Albuquerque veteran Msgt. Jessey Baca and his wife Maria. MSgt Baca was stationed at Joint Base Balad, Iraq, which hosted approximately 25,000 personnel at the height of operations and over ten acres of land for burning toxic debris. MSgt Baca has faced a multitude of health problems believed to be associated with burn pits, and has advocated for helping service members in similar situations.
After meeting the Bacas, Udall introduced a bill in the Senate with Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) in November 2011 to create a registry for returning service members and veterans experiencing health problems due to open-air burn pits in Afghanistan and Iraq.