Senate Approves More Transparancy for Cold War Vet Energy Workers Compensation

Updated 5 years ago Edited from a Press Release

Mark Udall, chairman of the U.S. Senate Strategic Forces Subcommittee and a senior member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, welcomed the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2015, a bill in which he played a major role. The bill includes Udall-sponsored provisions to strengthen U.S. national security, safeguard military firefighting aircraft, improve the military's energy efficiency and provide critical medical support for Colorado's Cold War-era nuclear weapons workers. Additionally, the bill includes Udall's proposals to strengthen the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site and protect Hermosa Creek.

"Coloradans are proud of our state's contribution to our national defense — and we should be," Udall said. "This year's National Defense Authorization Act will strengthen our national defense, protect our troops and save taxpayer money while supporting Colorado's military missions. I'm proud to have fought to include provisions to help Colorado's Cold War heroes access the health services they need, expand the Department of Defense's ability to target major sources of financing for extremist groups, and start development of a U.S.-built rocket engine while protecting the launch vehicles that have provided our national security community with assured access to space."

The bill adds transparency and certainty to decisions on compensation and access to benefits for the Cold War nuclear workers suffering from illnesses as a result of their exposure to radiation. Udall's provision requires the president to establish an independent advisory panel comprised of scientific, medical, legal, worker and worker advocate communities to review decisions made through the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA) program to better address the needs of the nuclear workers.

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