Effective Date: December 07, 2000
|Responsible Office: Office of Human Resources and Education|
|Subject: Providing Compensation to America's Nuclear Weapons Workers|
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including Public Law 106-398, the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act of 2000 (Public Law 106-398, the "Act"), and to allocate the responsibilities imposed by that legislation and to provide for further legislative efforts, it is herebyordered as follows:
Section 1. Policy. Since World War II, hundreds of. thousands of men and women have served their Nation in building its nuclear defense. In the course of their work, they overcame previously unimagined scientific and technical challenges. Thousands of these courageous Americans, however, paid a high price for their service, developing disabling or fatal illnesses as a result of exposure to beryllium, ionizing radiation, and other hazards unique to nuclear weapons production and testing. Too often, these workers were neither adequately protected from, nor informed of, the occupational hazards to which they were exposed.
Existing workers' compensation programs have failed to provide for the needs of these workers and their families. Federal workers' compensation programs have generally not included these workers. Further, because of long latency periods, the uniqueness of the hazards to which they were exposed, and inadequate exposure data, many of these individuals have been unable to obtain State workers' compensation benefits. This problem has been exacerbated by the past policy of the Department of Energy (DOE) and its predecessors of encouraging and assisting DOE contractors in opposing the claims of workers who sought those benefits. This policy has recently been reversed.
While the Nation can never fully repay these workers or their families, they deserve recognition and compensation for their sacrifices. Since the Administration's historic announcement in July of 1999 that it intended to compensate DOE nuclear weapons workers who suffered occupational illnesses as a result of exposure to the unique hazards in building the Nation's nuclear defense, it has been the policy of this Administration to support fair and timely compensation for these workers and their survivors. The Federal Government should provide necessary information and otherwise help employees of the DOE or its contractors determine if their illnesses are associated with conditions of their nuclear weapons-related work; it should provide workers and their survivors with all pertinent and available information necessary for evaluating and processing claims; and it should ensure that this program minimizes the administrative burden on workers and their survivors, and respects their dignity and privacy. This order sets out agency responsibilities to accomplish these goals, building on the Administration's articulated principles and the framework set forth in the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act of 2000. The Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Energy shall be responsible for developing and implementing actions under the Act to compensate these workers and their families in a manner that is compassionate, fair, and timely. Other Federal agencies, as appropriate, shall assist in this effort.
Sec. 2. Designation of Responsibilities for Administering the Energy
Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program ("Program").
(ii) No later than May 31, 2001, promulgate regulations for the administration of the Program, except for functions assigned to other agencies pursuant to the Act or this order;
(iii) No later than July 31, 2001, ensure the availability, in paper and electronic format, of forms necessary for making claims under the Program; and
(iv) Develop informational materials, in coordination with the Secretary
of Energy and the Secretary of Health and Human Services, to help potential
claimants understand the Program and the application process, and provide
these materials to individuals upon request and to the Secretary of
Energy and the Attorney General for dissemination to potentially eligible
(iii) With the assistance of the Secretary of Energy, apply the methods
promulgated under subsection (b)(i)(B) to estimate the radiation doses
received by individuals applying for assistance;
(ii) Upon request from the Secretary of Health and Human Services or
the Secretary of Labor, and as permitted by law, require a DOE contractor,
subcontractor, or designated beryllium vendor, pursuant to section 3631(c)
of the Act, to provide information relevant to a claim under this Program;
(1) Submittal of reasonable claims to a physician panel, appointed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services and administered by the Secretary of Energy, under procedures established by the Secretary of Energy, for determination of whether the, individual's illness or death arose out of and in the course of employment by the DOE or its contractors and exposure to a toxic substance at a DOE facility; and
(2) For cases determined by the physician panel and the Secretary of
Energy under section 3661(d) and (e) of the Act to have arisen out of
and in the course of employment by the DOE or its contractors and exposure
to a toxic substance at a DOE facility, provide assistance to the individual
in filing for workers' compensation benefits. The Secretary shall not
contest these claims and, to the extent permitted by law, shall direct
a DOE contractor who employed the applicant not to contest the claim;
facility, job location and description, and number of successful State
workers' compensation claims awarded; and
(ii) Identify and notify eligible covered uranium employees or their survivors of the availability of supplemental compensation under the Program; and
(iii) Upon request by the Secretary of Labor, provide information needed to adjudicate the claim of a covered uranium employee under this Program.
Sec. 3. Establishment of Interagency Working Group.
(b) The Working Group shall:
(ii) Address any impediments to timely and coordinated Program implementation.
Sec. 4. Establishment of Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health.
(b) The Advisory Board shall:
(ii) Advise the Secretary of Health and Human Services on the scientific validity and quality of dose reconstruction efforts performed for this Program; and
(iii) Upon request by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, advise the Secretary on whether there is a class of employees at any Department of Energy facility who were exposed to radiation but for whom it is not feasible to estimate their radiation dose, and on whether there is a reasonable likelihood that such radiation dose may have endangered the health of members of the class.
Sec. 5. Reporting Requirements. The Secretaries of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Energy shall, as part of their annual budget submissions, report to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on their activities under this Program, including total expenditures related to benefits and program administration. They shall also report to the OMB, no later than March 1, 2001, on the manner in which they will carry out their respective responsibilities under the Act and this order. This report shall include, among other things, a description of the administrative structure established within their agencies to implement the Act and this order. In addition, the Secretary of Labor shall annually report on the total number and types of claims for which compensation was considered and other data pertinent to evaluating the Federal Government's performance fulfilling the requirements of the Act and this order.
Sec. 6. Administration and Judicial Review. (a) This Executive Order
shall be carried out subject to the availability of appropriations,
and to the extent permitted by law.
/s/ William J. Clinton
THE WHITE HOUSE,
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