Nuclear Workers Organization Applauds DOL Site Matrix Review

Special to HuntingtonNews.Net
Nuclear Workers Organization Applauds DOL Site Matrix Review

Kennewick, WA – The Alliance of Nuclear Worker Advocacy Groups (ANWAG) is pleased with the recommendations made by the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine (IOM) from their review of the Department of Labor’s Division of Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program’s (DEEOIC) Site Exposure Matrix (SEM)

DEEOIC contracted with IOM to review the SEM to ensure that the links between exposure to toxic substances and disease utilizes the best available science.  The SEM is a database which shows the types of toxic substances present at a Department of Energy nuclear weapons facility, the job categories of the workers who may have been exposed to the substances and the health effects that can be the result of the exposure.  SEM is used as a tool by the DEEOIC claims examiners to adjudicate compensation claims.  SEM relies solely on Haz-Map for information on the health effects of toxic substances. 

“This is very comprehensive and well thought-out report with many recommendations will greatly help claimants when implemented,” stated Deb Jerison Executive Director of EECAP.  “I was especially happy to see they agreed with the Government Accountability Office and the advocates on the need for an independent advisory board. Many of the tasks for the new independent advisory board were spelled out nicely in the report.”

“Cold War Patriots appreciates that IOM has listened to the concerns of the advocates and claimants regarding the inconsistencies in Haz-Map and the SEM,” added Faye Vlieger, Advisory Committee Member for CWP.  “We await DOL's response on how the IOM's recommendations will be implemented.”

“I am grateful that DEEOIC took the initiative to request IOM to review the SEM,” stated Terrie Barrie, ANWAG Founding Member.  “I look forward to DEEOIC’s active support of legislation to form this independent advisory board that Congress may introduce.” 

IOM believes “that establishing a formal oversight and review process for the Haz-Map database and using a weight-of-evidence approach are critical for both maintaining and expanding the Haz-Map database for its use in SEM.”

ANWAG looks forward to Congress’s quick introduction and passage of legislation that will create this independent advisory board.