President Barack Obama has signed a law providing health benefits to Marines and families who were exposed to contaminated drinking water at North Carolina's Camp Lejeune.
The president signed the bill Monday at a ceremony in the Oval Office and said the country had a sacred duty to protect its men and women in uniform, whether overseas or at home.
The bill passed Congress last week with bipartisan support. Health officials believe as many as 1 million people may have been exposed to tainted groundwater at the base from 1957 to 1987.
Documents show Marine leaders were slow to respond when tests in the early 1980s showed higher than normal levels of contaminates in ground water. It was likely caused by leaking fuel tanks and an off-base dry cleaner.