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H.R. 2601: SFC Heath Robinson Burn Pit Transparency Act

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Apr 15, 2021.

SFC Heath Robinson Burn Pit Transparency Act

This bill implements reporting requirements and policies related to the treatment and documentation of veterans who have been exposed to open burn pits. A burn pit is an area used for burning solid waste in open air without equipment.

First, the bill requires the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to submit quarterly reports on veterans' burn pit exposure

The bill also requires the VA to collaborate with the Department of Defense to submit an annual report detailing specified information about veterans who have been exposed to open burn pits, such as the number of claims for disability compensation approved and denied (including the rationale for denials).

The bill authorizes the survivor of a deceased veteran to report a veteran's exposure to toxic substances from an open burn pit in the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry, even if the veteran was not included prior to their death.

VA medical professionals must inform veterans of the registry if they present at a medical facility for treatment related to exposure to toxic chemicals by open burn pits.

Finally, the Government Accountability Office must report on the effectiveness of any memorandum of understanding entered into by the VA with respect to the processing of reported cases of burn pit exposure and the coordination of care and provision of health care related to such cases at VA and non-VA facilities.