Last Updated: April 17, 2011
- Linde workers finally win special cohort status for years 1954 through 1969
- Alliance of Nuclear Worker Advocacy Groups June 8, 2009 letter
- Simonds Saw & Steel workers get special cohort for nuclear operations years (1948-1957)
- Buffalo News editorial calls for expanded SEC for radiation-exposed Linde workers
Linde workers fight for justice, lives
A closer look at compensation program
- NIOSH page for Linde
To date, less than half -- 285 of 577 -- of Linde worker claims have been paid; see Linde statistics DOL webpage.
- Effective August 13, 2010, Bethlehem Steel employees granted special exposure cohort status for 1949 through 1952
See NIOSH page for Bethlehem Steel
- Congressmen criticize NIOSH; ask it to review its rejection of Linde special cohort petition for 1947 to 1954
- West Valley workers seek special compensation under EEOICPA
- Independent report identifies several serious problems with NIOSH dose assessments
- Bush Administration caught trying to limit nuclear worker payments
This story as first reported by USAToday's Pete Eisler
- NIOSH incorrectly rationalizes the compensation program's most serious defect.
There are competent independent experts capable of performing dose reconstructions. Radioactive Waste Management Associates (Marvin Resnikoff, principal) and Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (Arjun Makhijani) top the list. The current federal administration has simply chosen nuclear industry insiders to support its decisions.
- December 2005:
LINDE CERAMICS WORKERS DURING OPERATIONAL YEARS (1942-1947) ONLY ARE GIVEN SPECIAL COHORT STATUS DESPITE THE PRESENCE OF HEAVY CONTAMINATION RIGHT UP TO THE CURRENT ONGOING CLEANUP. See Buffalo News story and NIOSH's SEC Evaluation Report.
- February 2005:
NIOSH BOARD GRANTS SPECIAL EXPOSURE COHORT STATUS TO MALLINCKRODT SITE AND IOWA ARMY AMMUNITION PLANT. SENATOR HARKIN PLAYED INSTRUMENTAL ROLE.
See Press release of Senator Tom Harkin
- Audit finds fault with NIOSH's dose reconstruction at Bethlehem Steel
- Defense bill, HR 4200, includes reform and extension of EEOICPA. Program transferred to the Department of Labor. Office to open in Western New York.
Government Accountability Project press release, with link to reform wording
Seattle Times story.
- Buffalo News editorial takes Rep. Reynolds to task
- Western New York Rep. Thomas Reynolds stops EEOICPA reform measure in the House
- Senate approves significant program reform measure, next move up to House.
- Historical Bethlehem Steel Rad Data Not Acknowledged
- NIOSH report, App. A-3: site-by-site residual radioactivity evaluations [542kb PDF]
- Extended coverage dates for Linde, Ashland, Seaway Bethlehem, Simonds, TAM, West Valley, others
- Buffalo News editorial critical of bureaucratic inaction,
Program reforms stricken from Energy Bill
- NIOSH releases long overdue report; $ millions spent, little new, victims dying
- Additional $9.7 million goes to bureaucrats, not to victims
Federal Compensation Program Too Late for Many Atomic Workers
Burden of Proof Placed on Victims/Survivors
Access to Essential Records Hampered
Text of the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act. This federal entitlement program, jointly administered by the federal Department of Labor, Department of Energy, and Health and Human Services' NIOSH (National Institute on Occupational Safety and Health) is intended to provide medical benefits and lump sum payments to sick/deceased atomic workers.
The program has been heavily criticized by many, including an advisory committee set up by DOE; click here for their comments. Independent analyst Marvin Resnikoff issued a critique of the regulations that were devised to implement the Act. The Government Accountability Project addressed the problem of claim filing and government records destruction. NIOSH got an earful from the public at its hearing on July 23, 2002 in Buffalo, NY; see hearing transcript.
David Dooley's MJW Corporation, selected by NIOSH to do dose reconstructions for the claimants, has been exposed as a federal lackey by the FACTS public interest group. See "Enough Already!" and a brief chronology of Dooley's involvement at the Tonawanda, NY FUSRAP Site.
Former workers and family members of deceased workers should contact the Department of Labor which is administering the program along with the Department of Energy's Office of Worker Advocacy and Health and Human Services' NIOSH (National Institutes of Occupational Safety and Health). NIOSH has been tasked with performing the radiation dose reconstruction studies necessary to assess individual claims. See http://tis.eh.doe.gov/advocacy/status/status.html for more information on claim filing, and toll-free (888) helpline numbers.
Claimants need to supply as much information about employment histories and medical records as possible. Government information on exposures at several area facilities should be available at: http://tis.eh.doe.gov/ohre/new/findingaids/epidemioligic/orise/.
There are 13 facilities in the Buffalo area covered by the program, including the former Bliss and Laughlin plant on Hopkins Street, the Bethlehem Steel plant in Lackawanna, the former Linde Air Products plant in Tonawanda (now Praxair), Simmonds Saw and Steel in Lockport, and Titanium Alloys Manufacturing, Carborundum Company, Hooker Electrochemical and Union Carbide's Electro Metallurgical all in Niagara Falls (See http://www.oakridge.doe.gov/Foia/facilities.pdf for full list.)
A good starting place for Linde claimants is a February 1984 ORAU Technical Report (published 1-88); this report attempts to bracket worker exposures by job type from scant, unreferenced workplace monitoring and medical records obtained from Union Carbide/Linde and DOE.
Simmonds Saw and Steel and Electro Metallurgical (Electromet) claimants are advised to review an independent dose assessment contracted by USA Today and performed by Arjun Makhijani, Ph.D., of the non-profit Institute for Energy and Environmental Research. A summary of this study is also available on the IEER website.
Newspaper stories/information releases:
- Additional $9.7 million goes to bureaucrats, not to victims
- Text of Rep. Strickland's proposed amendments to EEOICPA
- GAP fact sheet on proposed NIOSH rule changeAnalysis of proposed changes to rule for designating Special Cohort Classes; GAP also requests an extension of public comment period.
- Buffalo News , March 15, 2003:Death of chemical worker spurs lawmakers to call for reform
- March 14, 2003 Press ReleaseU.S. Rep. Louise Slaughter calls for overhaul of EEOICPA
- Transcript of NIOSH Public Hearing, July 23, 2002, Buffalo, NY
- Tonawanda News story: How a former Linde/Praxair employee views program.
- Buffalo News , November 16, 2001:Department of Energy representatives were present November 13 through 16, 2001 at the Hampton Inn, Amherst, NY to answer questions and to assist hundreds of sick former atomic workers and survivors of deceased workers file claims.
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