FindLaw KnowledgeBasePublished: 2012-01-19
The Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA) authorizes payments of compensation and health benefits to eligible nuclear weapons workers who performed environmental remediation duties at Department of Energy (DOE) mill sites and other locations around the country. This program covers employees and former employees, as well as contractors, subcontractors and certain survivors of deceased individuals.
The Director of the Division of Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation at the U.S. Department of Labor recently announced that 17 additional uranium mills around the country will receive coverage under the EEOICPA, and three mill facilities will have coverage extended to new time periods. Newly listed facilities include the following uranium processing sites:
- Colorado: Grand Junction, Gunnison, Maybell, Naturita, Rifle and Slick Rock
- Utah: Mexican Hat
- Arizona: Tuba City and Monument Valley
- New Mexico: Ambrosia Lake
- Wyoming: Riverton and the Spook Site in Converse County
- Idaho: Lowman
- Oregon: Lakeview
- Texas: Falls City
Another major development in the compensation program is the extension of EEOICPA benefits eligibility to remediation workers employed in Durango, Colorado, between 1986 and 1991; Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, between 1983 and 1985 as well as 1996; and Monticello, Utah, between 1983 and 2000. These benefits will compensate workers who performed work authorized under the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act (UMTRCA) and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA).
The EEOICPA authorizes benefits of up to $400,000 and additional medical benefits to workers who have developed radiogenic cancer, chronic silicosis, beryllium sensitivity or chronic beryllium disease while working at a covered DOE facility, atomic weapons employer, beryllium vendor, or uranium mill sites.
Those involved in environmental remediation at these mill sites should be aware of this recent expansion in compensation benefits. A radiation exposure attorney can explain RECA claims eligibility and related issues to help uranium workers cope with the onset of illness caused by exposure due to uranium mining, government nuclear testing or remediation of contaminated sites.