NEW Institute of Medicine Report
DOL contracted with the Institute of Medicine to, "provide a scientific assessment to identify strengths and weaknesses of the SEM and make recommendations for addressing links to chemical usage/exposure" on September 27, 2011. The IOM Review was released to the public in March 27, 2013. Many of the issues raised in the IOM report have previously been raised by ANWAG multiple times including a July 16, 2009 tele-meeting, as well as in the March 22, 2010 Government Accountability Office report entitled, "Additional Independent Oversight and Transparency Would Improve Program's Credibility".
On April 12, 2013 ANWAG released the "Analysis of the Institute of Medicine's Review of Department of Labor's Site Exposure Matrix and Department of Labor's Response to the Recommendations".
ANWAG alerts Department of HHS Inspector General of possible Malfeasance
ANWAG learned from emails received through the Freedom of Information Act that some NIOSH staff members may have withheld evidence from the Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health. The information reveled in these emails may have caused Special Exposure Cohorts to be decided improperly. On February 28, 2013 ANWAG alerted the Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General's office and the Advisory Board president of this matter.
2013 Defense Authorization Bill
ANWAG issued a press release on the reduction in worker protection included in HR 4310, the House Defense Authorization bill.
ANWAG was alerted on Friday May 11 that language had been introduced into the 2013 Defense Authorization Bill that would significantly weaken the protection standards currently in place for nuclear weapons workers. ANWAG strenuously objects to these changes and sent today faxed letters to the House Armed Services Committee, the Senate Armed Services Committee and Secretary Chu.
You can help keep our friends, neighbors and loved ones who now work at the nuclear weapons facilities safe by forwarding the letters to your Senators and Congressman/woman, posting to your FB page, forwarding to press, etc. You can also voice your objection directly to the Committees:
Due Process denied Injured Nuclear Workers
ANWAG issued a press release after leaning learned this week that DEEOIC will be reviewing EEOICPA claims to look for residual contamination at certain Atomic Weapons Employer (AWE) sites but will NOT notify claimants that their claims are being reviewed. ANWAG feels that this deprives claimants of the ability to provide DEEOIC with additional information since there will be no way for them to know DEEOIC has reviewed their file.
DOL's criteria for Chronic Beryllium disease
On March 9, 2012 ANWAG sent DOL a letter about a possible change in the criteria DOL is using to decide Chronic Beryllium Disease claims. CBD is defined in the law and the law does not require a diagnosis of CBD. It appeared that DOL may have been requiring a diagnosis of CBD to train their Claims Examiners rather than using the criteria established in the law. On July 24, 2012 DOL responded.
Letter to Congress supporting EEOICPA Independent Advisory Board
Donna Hand has written a sample letter that people can adapt and use to contract their Senators and Representatives about the need for an independent Advisory Board as recommended in the March 2010 GAO report.
ANWAG Promotes Cost-saving Measures to Improve EEOICPA
In response to President Obama's call for suggestions on how to cut costs and improve service ANWAG sent a letter with suggestions to Department of Labor Secretary Solis. Rachel Leiton responded on August 14, 2012.
Besides forwarding the letter to your legislators and asking for their support, if you agree with these suggestions, you can call the Secretary at 202-693-6000 or email her at and let her know how important this is. Or simply say, "I agree with ANWAG's ideas on costs savings."
National Day of Remembrance
Senator Mark Udall introduced Senate Resolution 519, designating October 30 as a National Day of Remembrance for the nuclear weapons workers. He was joined by Senators Alexander, Bingaman, Brown (OH), Cantwell, Corker, Crapo, Gillibrand, Graham, McConnell, Reid, and Udall (NM), who co-sponsored the resolution. A note of thanks to the Senators would be appropriate. If your Senator has not co-signed the legislation, please ask that he or she supports it. Many thanks to Cold War Patriots for continuing to bring this issue to Congress. Stay tuned for the events planned for this year's celebrations.
On March 20, 2012 ANWAG sent a letter to DOL requesting clarification on some of the responses DOL made to National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) Committee to Review the Department of Labor’s Site Exposure Matrix (SEM). DOL provided clarifications in a letter dated May 21, 2012.
On January 23, 2012 the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine held their first meeting to review DEEIOIC's Site Exposure Matrix. Terrie Barrie was invited by them to present the advocates' position on the issues surrounding the SEM and claim adjudication. Ms. Barrie both spoke to the committee and provided them with printed material. Dr. Laurence Fuortes from the University of Iowa College of Public Health also provided the committee with his observations on SEM and HazMap.
On January 5, 2011 ANWAG issued a press release alleging that DOL has found a way around President Obama’s memorandum on Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and is effectively denying advocates for sickened nuclear weapons workers requests for documents by charging outlandish search fees.
Because there has been no progress with any meaningful reforms to EEOICPA this year, ANWAG developed a thought provoking essay describing some of the serious flaws with the program.
Terrie Barrie: "More must be done" was published in the Craig Daily Press on December 28, 2011.
ANWAG is concerned about possible conflict of interest problems within EEOICPA. To begin to address these problems ANWAG wrote a letter to Dr. Howard of NIOSH regarding a possible conflict of interest rising from the Designated Federal Official (DFO) for the Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health who authored the final rules for the dose reconstruction and Special Exposure Cohort (SEC) petition processes.
ANWAG also sent a letter to Director Hinnefeld of NIOSH regarding possible conflicts of interest between contractors Dade Moeller and Associates and EG&G for their financial involvements with EEOICPA and DOE sites.
NIOSH responded to this concern on January 3, 2012.
Program wide Issues
There has been some confusion within EEOICPA on whether certain x-ray reports are valid of not. Some claimants have had their "b-reads" refused if the technician did not sign the report. NIOSH's Dr. Howard clarified the issue for ANWAG. If you have had this problem, please contact ANWAG or EECAP for help.
ANWAG has put together a report on the problems claimants are having with Department of Labor and NIOSH as well as solutions to those problems.