Western Governors support Radiation Exposure Compensation Act Amendments of 2019

Air Quality

Western Governors express their support for the bipartisan Radiation Exposure Compensation Act Amendments of 2019, recently introduced in the House and Senate.

The outreach of Oct. 11, 2019, signed by WGA Chair North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and Vice Chair Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, noted that the United States conducted over 1,000 nuclear weapons tests from 1945 to 1992. The vast majority of those tests were in western states or the Pacific islands, as was much of the mining and milling that provided the feedstock for these tests.

The residents of western states and U.S. territories were primarily affected by these national security activities, including employees of the nuclear weapons complex, miners and mill workers, and the general public. Known as “downwinders,” these individuals suffered exposure to the fallout from atmospheric testing.

Congress subsequently passed the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act to compensate those who contracted cancers and other diseases following radiation exposure to these tests.

The Governors support the RECA Amendments of 2019's recognition of broader populations impacted, the expanded definition of “affected area” for downwind states, and the extension of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Trust Fund for 19 years.

Read the House Letter, Read the Senate Letter

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