Introduced by Representatives Jerman of Essex, Barnard of Richmond, Clarkson of Woodstock, Cross of Winooski, Dowland of Holland, Evans of Essex, Fisher of Lincoln, Johnson of South Hero, Maier of Middlebury, McLaughlin of Royalton and Shand of Weathersfield
Subject: Internal security; armed forces; exposure to depleted uranium
Statement of purpose: This bill proposes to provide screening of Vermonters in the military who may have been exposed to depleted uranium.
AN ACT RELATING TO SCREENING OF MEMBERS OF MILITARY FOR DEPLETED URANIUM
It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:
Sec. 1. 20 V.S.A. § 1547 is added to read:
§ 1547. EXPOSURE TO DEPLETED URANIUM
(a) For the purposes of this section:
(1) “Depleted uranium” means uranium containing an amount of Uranium-235 that is less than the naturally occurring distribution of uranium isotopes.
(2) “Eligible member” means a member of the military who served in the Persian Gulf War, as defined in 38 U.S.C. § 101, or in an area designated as a combat zone by the President of the United States during Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqui Freedom.
(3) “Member of the armed forces” or “member” means a member of the armed forces of the United States, including the Vermont National Guard, who is a resident of this state.
(4) “Veteran” means a member who served as an eligible member.
(b) On and after October 1, 2005, any eligible member or veteran who returns or has returned to this state after service in an area designated as a combat zone by the President of the United States and who has been assigned a risk level I or II for depleted uranium exposure by the member’s branch or service, or any other member or veteran who has reason to believe that he or she was exposed to depleted uranium during service, shall have the right to a best practice health screening test for exposure to depleted uranium using a bioassay procedure involving sensitive methods capable of detecting depleted uranium at low levels and the use of equipment with the capacity to discriminate between different radioisotopes in naturally occurring levels of uranium and the characteristic ratio and marker for depleted uranium.
Sec. 2. ADJUTANT GENERAL; REPORT
On or before October 1, 2005, the adjutant general of the Vermont National Guard shall submit a report to the house committee on general, housing and military affairs and the senate committee on economic development, housing and general affairs regarding the scope and adequacy of training provided to members of the armed forces so that they may determine whether their service as eligible members exposed them or may have exposed them to depleted uranium. The report shall also include an assessment of the feasibility and cost of adding predeployment training concerning potential exposure to depleted uranium and other toxic chemical substances and the precautions recommended under combat and noncombat conditions while in a combat zone to avoid or minimize exposure.
The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street