AUSTIN – Today, Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa passed House Bill 306 by Representative Abel Herrero out of the Texas Senate. Also known as the Service Member and Veteran Open Burn Pit Registry Act, the bill would provide outreach, education, and awareness for our veterans facing health issues after exposure to open burn pit smoke and other airborne hazards.
In military conflicts since the First Gulf War, open burn pits were used to dispose of chemicals, munitions, and medical waste, exposing service members to dangerous toxins. Unfortunately, the long-term health effects from burn pit smoke are still not fully understood. In addition, there is no federal or state outreach effort to provide service members who may have resulting health problems with information on how to get assistance. The Service Member and Veteran Open Burn Pit Registry would help medical researchers track changes in health and get our veterans the benefits and information they and their families deserve.
Senator Hinojosa released the following statement:
“ The Service Member and Veteran Open Burn Pit Registry will facilitate outreach, education, and advocacy related to health concerns and diseases suffered by our soldiers and veterans as a result of exposure to toxic fumes. We must provide this tool to get a better understanding of the impact and consequences of this exposure to be able to better support those who served our country. I appreciate Rosie and Leroy Torres for their tireless commitment to this effort and for sharing their story with our legislators.”
Representative Herrero released the following statement:
“Veterans who bravely fought for our country, only to develop debilitating illnesses when they came home, deserve answers and proper medical treatment. This legislation takes the initiative to facilitate critical awareness and outreach to veterans and their families feeling the devastating effects of exposure to open air burn pits. We must stand with our veterans in this war that has followed them home.”
Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa proudly represents the counties of Nueces, Jim Wells, Brooks, and Hidalgo (part). Senator Hinojosa currently serves as Vice-Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, and serves on the Senate Committees on Property Tax; Natural Resources & Economic Development; Transportation; Agriculture; and Select Committee on Texas Ports.