(a) (1)The Secretary of the California Department of Veterans Affairs, or his or her designees, shall assist any eligible member or veteran who returns or has returned to this state in obtaining a best practice health screening test for exposure to depleted uranium. The screening should consist of a bioassay procedure capable of detecting depleted uranium at low levels and discriminating between different uranium isotopes. State funds shall not be used to pay for the tests or any other federal treatment services.
(2) The eligible member or veteran must return or have returned to this state after service in an area where depleted uranium was used or that was designated as a combat zone by the President of the United States after 1990. The eligible member or veteran shall either be assigned a risk level I, II, or III for depleted uranium exposure by his or her branch of service, be referred by a military physician, or have reason to believe that he or she was exposed to depleted uranium during his or her service.
(b) (1)In order to effectively provide the assistance required by subdivision (a), the Secretary of the California Department of Veterans Affairs, or his or her designees, shall develop and implement a plan for outreach to eligible members and veterans who have returned from combat areas where depleted uranium was used.
(2) The outreach plan shall provide information to eligible members and veterans concerning their potential exposure to depleted uranium, the possible hazards associated with exposure, and the right to federal depleted uranium screening services.
(c) For purposes of this section, all of the following apply:
(1) “Eligible member” means a member who served in the Persian Gulf War, as defined in Section 101 of Title 38 of the United States Code, in an area designated as a combat zone by the President of United States during Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi Freedom, or in any other combat theater where depleted uranium was used.
(2) “Member” or “member of the Armed Forces” means a member of the Armed Forces of the United States, including the California National Guard, who is a resident of this state.
(3) “Military physician” means a provider who is under contract with the United States Department of Defense to provide physician services to members of the Armed Forces.