Stars and Stripes
By Tara Copp
Published: December 31, 2015
KBR, under the military’s logistical support contract, operated the pits.WASHINGTON — A federal district court on Jan. 21 will consider the scope of a lawsuit alleging soldiers’ exposure to burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan led to serious respiratory illnesses and deaths and whether government contractor KBR, Inc. is responsible for the way the pits were operated.
In Iraq and Afghanistan, the military relied heavily on the large, open-air pits to burn trash and waste daily, exposing the personnel working the pits and others living nearby to toxic smoke.
In 2010, the Government Accountability Office found the Department of Defense was not following its own regulations for safe burn-pit operations, and that pits were regularly used to dispose of prohibited plastics, paints, batteries, aerosols, aluminum and other items that could produce harmful emissions when burned.
Nine locations in Afghanistan are also potentially within the lawsuit’s scope, as are another eight bases supporting Iraq and Afghanistan operations, such as Camp Arijian in Kuwait.
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