Washington lawmakers fight to protect federal workers from chemical exposure

Ranking members in the Senate on Monday announced efforts aimed at ensuring that the Department of Energy is protecting its workers in or near the tank farms at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington state from exposure to dangerous chemicals.

Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) the ranking member on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, along with Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), the ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources, inserted a requirement into the Senate appropriations bill that would establish a resource center for workers in Hanford who have been exposed to chemical vapors.

The proposed resource center would provide education and advocacy to current and former Hanford employees on all available federal and state compensation programs to support workers affected by chemical exposure while on the job.

The bill also would require continued work to protect workers.

Earlier this year, workers at the Hanford plant testified that illnesses among employees are connected to chemical vapor exposure at the plant, and their medical claims are routinely denied.

“Workers at Hanford deserve the most stringent possible precautions in place as they make progress on the clean-up,” Senator Cantwell said in a release. “The measures that Senator Murray and I were able to include in the 2018 Appropriations bill will help make progress towards that important goal, and I look forward to seeing them become law."

Murry said, Murray said. “I’m encouraged to see these important provisions pass this hurdle, and I will fight to make sure the Trump Administration does everything in its power to put safety first and provide Hanford workers the health care and benefits they deserve.”

Reader comments

Fri, Jul 28, 2017

Again the people both federal and contract employees are put at risk for the benefits of sloppy management procedures that have gone unchecked. Lots of denial and bogus studies saying how safe the operations are. The only way to get things done is by detailed environmental practices and examine how the French manage their nuclear waste products.

Wed, Jul 26, 2017

Wow how much the former AEC and DOE cares about their employees. A resource center is a start how about medical treatment and compensation for those injured by the sloppy management practices carried out at the facilities DOE is responsible for.

Tue, Jul 25, 2017 Fish NY

Nice of all you law makers to do this for the Fed Workers of the Dept of Energy. I want to thank each and every one of you but to bad no one ever looked out for we veterans who left the war and came home bring that war back with us and I'm talking about AO/ Agent Orange and other Herbicide exposures...it was the war that keeps on killing years and years after we came back home. Nothing like rubbing salt and not giving a hoot about us once again!

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