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Lawsuits Being Prepped for Military Camp LeJeune Contamination Victims

(NewsUSA) - Sometimes an egregious wrong gets righted.     

Such appears to be the case for military members and their families who’ve been seeking justice in the courts for exposure to contaminated water that sickened generations at the Camp Lejeune Marine base in North Carolina.     

Public outrage over their treatment heated up after victims’ lawsuits were dismissed in 2016 because of a state statute prohibiting plaintiffs from launching cases if more than 10 years have passed since the contaminating event. But last March the U.S. House of Representatives passed the bipartisan Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 that essentially overrode that legal hurdle  -- “Thirty-four years of people were exposed to toxins in the drinking water,” one congressman raged -- and the Senate seems poised to follow suit.     

Now one of the nation’s most experienced tort law firms, Weitz & Luxenberg, has announced that it’s preparing to file lawsuits against the government in U.S. federal court on their behalf.     

“We believe they deserve compensation, especially because they and their families became sick while serving our country,” said Robin Greenwald, a partner at the firm and co-chair of its Environmental and Consumer Protection Unit. “They drank the water, they bathed in it, and they used it to cook their food.  And that water was contaminated with toxins at concentrations anywhere from 240 to 3,400 times the levels permitted by safety standards.”     

The 156,000-acre Camp Lejeune, with 11 miles of beach capable of supporting amphibious operations, is used for military training purposes primarily by the Marine Corps but also other branches of the armed forces.  Some of the most damning evidence comes from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s own Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR): “It is ATSDR’s position that exposure from the 1950s through February 1985 to trichloroethylene, tetrachloroethylene, vinyl chloride and other contaminants likely increased the risk of cancers, adverse birth outcomes, and other adverse health effects” for those on the base.   

The Marine Corps first discovered volatile organic compounds in Camp Lejeune’s drinking water in 1982. However, it was already too late for people like now-retired Marine Corps Master Sgt. Jerry Ensminger, whose 9-year-old daughter Janey died in 1985 after having been diagnosed with leukemia two years earlier.         

“The entire first trimester of (her mother’s) pregnancy was there on the base,” Ensminger told theHill.com on the eve of the bill’s passage. “We’ve got more documented evidence of what happened at Camp Lejeune than they have for Agent Orange.”   

Assuming the Camp Lejeune Justice Act is ultimately signed into law by the president, who would be eligible to file lawsuits?     

Those who lived, worked, or were exposed to drinking water at the base for at least 30 days from August 1, 1953, to December 31, 1987, and subsequently suffered water toxicity-related diseases.  Among the conditions associated with exposure to the chemicals found in the drinking water:       

• Breast, lung, liver, kidney and esophageal cancers     
• Leukemia     
• Cardiac defect     
• Female infertility     
• Miscarriage     
• Parkinson’s disease     
• Non-Hodgkins lymphoma     
• Fatty liver disease   
 • Myelodysplastic syndromes     
• Multiple myeloma     
• Renal toxicity     
• Neurobehavioral effects     
• Scleroderma     

Weitz & Luxenberg encourages those who believe they fit the criteria and have been diagnosed with one or more of those conditions to schedule a free consultation.     

The firm has a stellar track record in handling toxic contamination lawsuits. It won a landmark $423-million settlement against some of nation’s biggest oil companies, for example, in a suit involving the contamination of 153 public water systems with the gasoline additive methyl tertiary butyl ether. And Greenwald was co-lead counsel for an $11 billion settlement in 2020 against Monsanto Company on behalf of nearly 100,000 Americans suffering from Non-Hodgkins lymphoma from their exposure to the weed killer Roundup.       

As for Camp Lejeune, the ATSDR has said as many as 1 million military and civilian staff and their families might have been exposed to the contaminated drinking water. The victims who initially stepped forward only to have their cases dismissed in 2016 because of the North Carolina statute -- and they were only a tiny fraction of that number -- had reportedly filed claims totaling nearly $4 billion.

Here's How One Company Is Doing Right for the Planet

(NewsUSA) -(NewsUSA)

Not that long ago, "sustainability" in the business world was defined as being able to stay afloat even in trying economic times. But these days, when Greta Thunberg may be the most famous Swede since Ingrid Bergman, it's taken on a whole different meaning - what the Harvard Business School describes as efforts to "positively impact the environment and/or society."

Of course, some businesses, like Whirlpool Corporation, have been ahead of the game, and are now setting even higher new targets to tackle climate change.

"We established our first office for sustainability over 50 years ago," said Marc Bitzer, the company's chairman and CEO.

1. Achieving Net-Zero Carbon Emissions in Plants and Operations By 2030

1. Achieving Net-Zero Carbon Emissions in Plants and Operations By 2030

That's the updated commitment to environmental sustainability that the world's leading kitchen and laundry appliance company just announced this month.

To get there, the company has been installing even more wind turbines and solar panels to help power its sites and distribution centers with renewable energy. (It's already one of the Fortune 500's largest U.S. on-site users of wind energy.)

And it's improving efficiency across more than 30 of its manufacturing sites and distribution centers around the world though retrofits.

2. Greening Homes Through VPPAs

2. Greening Homes Through VPPAs

That's Virtual Power Purchase Agreements for the uninitiated. Or in other words, agreements signed with energy companies to help fund wind and solar farms to generate renewable energy for the grid.

Whirlpool Corporation's first VPPA project broke ground in Texas in early January. It promises to be the first of many such projects helping to cleanly power not just its own sites but also local homes.

That's right, ordinary people's homes.

3.Innovative Household Products

3.Innovative Household Products

It shouldn't surprise anyone that U.S. News & World Report named four innovative Whirlpool brand products among the best refrigerators, dryers and washing machines of 2021. Yes, they look great. But they're also designed to be extremely energy and water efficient.

In fact, Whirlpool Corporation has already reduced the emissions linked to its products in use by 60 percent since 2005 and has committed to lowering them by an additional 20 percent by 2030 from a 2016 baseline.

One fun fact for you: Dishwashers save three to four times the water compared to hand washing your dishes. And, hey, they save you about 30 minutes each time too.

4.Helping Even You Reduce Waste Material

4.Helping Even You Reduce Waste Material

Not content that more than 70 percent of its manufacturing sites are already zero waste to landfill, the company aims to make that 100 percent by 2022.

Plus, to tackle other environmental challenges like plastic pollution, it's ramping up the use of recycled or reused materials in its appliances. And guess what? Those high-performance recycled plastics Whirlpool Corporation started to employ in its products means it's making use of you own waste.

BookTrib's Bites: Cold Case, Murder Case, Christianity, Casino Legend

(NewsUSA)

Hooker Avenue "Hooker Avenue"
by Jode Millman

 Amid a violent Hudson Valley thunderstorm, Jessie Martin discovers a woman lying unconscious in a roadside ditch. The badly beaten victim, Lissie Sexton, a local prostitute, claims she's escaped the attack of a killer.

Jessie's more than a casual driver who passes by; she's a criminal-defense attorney. And Lissie is more than an ordinary hooker; she's the key witness in a cold case under investigation by Jessie's estranged longtime friend, Detective Ebony Jones. And now Ebony can't find her witness. Jessie's new boss has sent Lissie into hiding. If Jessie reveals Lissie's location she compromises her client, her firm and her professional ethics. If she doesn't, she risks alienating not just Ebony, but the entire police department backing her. Purchase at https://amzn.to/35HKsgk.

To Kill a Ghost"To Kill a Ghost"
by J. Warren Weaver

When Erik's grandfather is murdered on the front steps of his home, Erik is forced to put medical school on hold and deal with his grieving family. When the case runs cold and things don't seem to add up, Erik finds himself leading his own investigation into the grisly murder.

As Erik becomes embroiled in escalating acts of violence, a message from beyond the grave activates his hidden skills -- a set of skills carefully planted in him by his grandfather, Victor. By the time Erik realizes what is happening, he is involved in drug-dealing, kidnapping and organized crime. Unexplained murders seem to follow him, but the deepest secret is still to come. Can Erik face the truth about Victor's past and how it affects his own future? Purchase at https://amzn.to/3uSUd3W.

Awake Beloved and Arise"Awake Beloved and Arise"
by Linda Huntzinger Calhoun

From a variety of voices, "Awake Beloved And Arise: Transforming Suffering Into Strength" tells compelling true stories of the difficult challenges life can bring. It explains why life is sometimes so hard and provides powerful inspiration to help us deal with our own trials and be stronger because of them.

From CEO to high school dropout, each of us faces unique challenges on our personal journey. Drawing on her experiences as a leader in Personal and Professional Development, as a Christian spiritual instructor at the County Jail, and from her own life as a single mother while suffering a disabling illness, the author gives practical tools and motivation to help us develop into the person God wants each of us to become. Purchase at https://amzn.to/3ufgsCb.

If Not You, Then Who? We're?Going Green!"If Not You, Then Who? We're Going Green!"
by David and Emberli Pridham

The Inventor's Fair is finally here, and this year's theme is "Going Green!" Noah has been tinkering for weeks but he's worried: can one invention make a difference? Join Noah to learn about the different ways we can all go green and make the world a better place.

If you like fun, informative, and factual kid's books such as "The Magic School Bus," then you'll love the new STEM series "If Not You, Then Who?", a recent Amazon bestseller geared for four- to eight-year-olds. The books are fun to read for both adults and children and can be read on multiple levels. Purchase at https://bit.ly/3yJZU3M.

NOTE: BookBites is presented by BookTrib.com.

Solar Energy Company Supports Homeowners and Communities

by John Hansen - Solar energy isn't new, but like any worthwhile technology, it has been upgraded. When you think of solar panels, do you think of unsightly blocks marring the lines of your roof? Today's solar energy panels are a clean and sleek source of renewable energy that increasing numbers of homeowners embrace as a way to save the planet and save on their energy bills.

Installing solar panels could save a homeowner as much as 35% on energy bills in the first year of use, according to Solar Energy Partners, a community-focused solar company based in California. "We strive to grant homeowners the peace of mind to live their lives without interruption through the power of Earth's most renewable resource," according to the company.

Solar energy is an environmentally sound energy source that reduces air pollution, reduces water use, reduces dependence on nonrenewable energy, and reduces energy costs to consumers.

The experts at Solar Energy Partners (SEP) act as true partners when it comes to helping homeowners enjoy the benefits of green energy, with a commitment to community and customer service that sets them apart. SEP offers not only a cost-free savings analysis, but also a computer-generated image to show potential customers exactly how their solar panels will look on their roof. SEP installers work flexible days and times to suit any schedule, they are committed to an unintrusive process that customers appreciate. Solar panels are durable and require almost no maintenance. The SEP panels are designed to generate power for 25 to 35 years, and can be installed on almost any type of roof. Although a southern-facing roof is ideal, SEP experts can create a workaround as needed

SEP's service-oriented business model extends to the community at large; in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, SEP partnered with the Salvation Army through their California South Division to provide local families in need with groceries, school supplies, and assistance with rent and utility bills. SEP currently serves communities in California, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, Texas, and New Jersey.

Visit solarenergy.partners to learn more the value of solar energy, and check out the company's facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SolarEnergyPartnersUSA/.

Yes, You Can Recycle Milk and Other Cartons

(NewsUSA) - One of the lingering images of the early days of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States is store shelves stripped clean of paper products -- mainly paper towels and toilet paper.

Fortunately, supply chains have rebounded, but consumers can help combat future paper product shortages by recycling not only paper, but cartons used for milk, juice, soup, and other food or beverage products.

Much of the information consumers receive about recycling can be confusing, according to the Carton Council of North America, an organization composed of carton manufacturers such as Elopak, Evergreen Packaging, SIG Combibloc, and Tetra Pak.

A national survey conducted by the Carton Council found that an overwhelming majority of consumers (95 percent) are supportive of recycling and 58 percent say the circumstances of 2020 and the pandemic have made them feel it's more important to recycle now than it was before.

However, only about a third of consumers say they thought recycling might help with shortages of toilet paper and paper towels. In fact, one ton of paper made from recycled fibers instead of virgin fibers conserves not only 7,000 gallons of water, but also 17 to 31 trees, 4,000 kilowatt hours of electricity, and 60 pounds of air pollutants, according to the Carton Council.

"It's great to see that people are recognizing the importance of recycling, but we need to remain diligent," says Carla Fantoni, vice president of communications for the Carton Council of North America and for Tetra Pak Americas.

"We need to reinforce the connection between recycling and creating new products to consumers, showing why it's so important to recycle and the benefits," Fantoni adds.

For example, a persistent myth about cartons (a multi-layer package) is that they can't be recycled or are too difficult to recycle.

However, cartons can be recycled and contain the highest quality paper fibers in the recycling stream, and they are used by paper mills to make new materials including paper towels and toilet paper.

Recycling cartons is easy, according to the Carton Council. Just make sure milk, juice or other cartons are empty: no need to spend time washing them. Caps can be left on, and small straws that accompany juice boxes can be pushed inside the carton before dropping it in the recycling bin.

Visit RecycleCartons.com for more information about carton recycling.

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