Urgently-Needed Federal Environmental Health Legislation for Northern Arizona

Passage of these bills would directly benefit our rural and tribal communities, workers, and their families:

  • The Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA), due to expire in July 2022, provides compensation to individuals suffering from cancers and other diseases associated with radiation exposure who worked in uranium mining, milling, and ore transportation from 1942 to 1971, participated onsite in atmospheric nuclear weapons testing, or lived downwind of the Nevada Test Site. The following amendments and reforms are needed:
  1. Extend RECA through 2045;
  2. Expand eligibility for benefits to uranium core drillers, individuals working in the uranium industry from 1972 to 1990, and those living in additional areas determined to have been affected by atmospheric nuclear testing;
  3. Increase compensation that an individual may receive from $50,000 – $100,000 to $150,000;
  4. Modify proof of residency eligibility requirements so that they are consistent with Native American laws, customs, and traditions; and
  5. Create a grant program for university researchers to study the epidemiological impacts of uranium mining, milling, and ore transport on non-occupationally exposed individuals

Read the Congressional Research Service Report on RECA here: https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/R/R43956; and call the Arizona congressional delegation and ask them to introduce legislation reauthorizing and amending RECA to provide these critical public health protections and benefits.

  • The prevalence and severity of Black Lung Disease is on the rise. Urge Arizona’s congressional delegation to reintroduce the Black Lung Benefits Improvement Act. This proposed legislation would make it easier for coal miners to pursue their benefits claims. Read the United Mine Workers of America’s statement on the need for this legislation here: https://umwa.org/health-safety/the-black-lung-benefits-improvement-act/
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