President Trump Signs Dr. Ruiz's Legislation to Address Military Burn Pits into Law

December 23, 2019

Great news! The President signed into law my two pieces of legislation to help end the military's use of toxic burn pits and get exposed veterans the care they need. This was included in this year's National Defense Authorization Act.

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Since 2017, the story of my constituent and friend, Jennifer Kepner, an Air Force veteran who suffered from pancreatic cancer likely from her burn pit exposure, has inspired my fight to end the use of burn pits once and for all. When I sat down with Jennifer at her kitchen table and heard about her battle with cancer, I knew that we had to act for all veterans and servicemembers exposed to toxic military burn pits. 


I am thrilled with the progress we made last week to protect future generations of servicemembers from the harmful effects of burn pit exposure. Here's what my two amendments will do: 

  1. Require the Department of Defense to submit an implementation plan to Congress to phase out the use of burn pits.
  2. Require the Department of Defense to compile a detailed list of all locations where the military used toxic burn pits.


This legislation is important because it helps VA providers and veterans identify the risks of cancer and autoimmune and pulmonary diseases. This will ultimately save lives and help our veterans get the care they need. 

Despite the progress we made this week, our fight isn't over. I will continue working tirelessly to get veterans exposed to burn pits the health care and benefits they have earned and deserve.  


Raul Ruiz, M.D.
Member of Congress