U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee today shared the concerns he’s heard from Arkansas veterans who served in the Gulf War who say toxic exposure during their tour made them sick. Boozman questioned the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) about what is being done to help these veterans during the committee hearing examining the impacts of exposure to toxic chemicals and VA’s response.
The 39th Infantry Brigade from the Arkansas Army National Guard deployed to the Gulf War in 1990 and 1991. There are many Arkansas veterans who allege to have serious health issues resulting from these toxic sources. Boozman questioned witnesses from the VA about the status of the ongoing research to determine what medical conditions may be caused by toxic exposure during the Gulf War. VA insisted that the research was ongoing and that Secretary McDonald continues to examine the evidence.
It is Boozman’s hope that decisions will be made in short order.
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In a Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee hearing considering the nominations of individuals for Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) positions, Senator Boozman asked Thomas Burke who is nominated to be Assistant Administrator of the Office of Research and Development of the EPA about collaboration with the National Center for Toxicological Research. This facility is located in Jefferson, Arkansas near Pine Bluff.
Boozman also asked Burke if he would commit to work with members of Congress for commonsense reforms to strengthen the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). In February, Boozman and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) introduced the EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act to improve confidence in the fairness and transparency of EPA regulations and rulemaking.