H.R.3539 - Radiation Workers Justice Act of 1998105th Congress (1997-1998)
Summary: H.R.3539 — 105th Congress (1997-1998)
Introduced in House (03/24/1998)
Radiation Workers Justice Act of 1998 - Amends the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act to extend the Radiation Exposure Compensation Trust Fund to 22 years after the date of enactment of this Act.
(Sec. 3) Includes within the purview of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act those parts of Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico composing the Navajo National Reservation which were subjected to fallout from nuclear weapons testing conducted in Nevada.
(Sec. 4) Prescribes eligibility guidelines for claims relating to: (1) uranium milling; (2) any State in which uranium was either milled or mined; (3) a mine located above ground; (4) an open pit mine worked by uranium miners; and (5) a uranium mill.
Extends the timeframe for filing claims to include the period from January 1, 1942, to December 31, 1990.
Identifies claims eligibility criteria for uranium employees who: (1) were exposed to 40 or more working level months of radiation; (2) worked in uranium mines or mills for at least one year; and (3) submit written medical documentation of either lung cancer or a nonmalignant respiratory medical condition associated with uranium mining or milling. Provides for up to $200,000 for such a claim.
Mandates money damages of $50,000 for any uranium mine or mill employee: (1) who was exposed to radiation (without knowledge or informed consent) by a Federal agency for human use research purposes; or (2) who suffered death from nonradiological causes arising out of or in the course of employment. Mandates money damages of $20,000 for injury or disability from nonradiological causes arising out of or in the course of employment.
(Sec. 5) Modifies claims payment procedures to mandate that: (1) all reasonable doubt whether a claim meets the requirements of this Act be resolved in favor of the claimant; (2) the Attorney General permit the introduction and use of affidavits and other documentary or medical evidence to the same extent as permitted by the Federal Rules of Evidence; (3) specified radiograph interpretive reports be considered conclusive; (4) with respect to Native Americans' claims, the Attorney General establish procedures that incorporate (where feasible) Native American law and mores; (5) when determining the pulmonary impairment of a claimant, the Attorney General evaluate the degree of impairment based on ethnic-specific pulmonary function standards; and (6) upon tribal request, the Attorney General establish claims determination procedures for Native American uranium miners and millers in consultation with the affected Indian tribe.
Authorizes the Attorney General, upon tribal request, to enter into a self-determination contract with a tribal organization to process tribal members' claims.
(Sec. 7) Revises the statute of limitations for filing a claim to require such filing within 20 years of the date of enactment of this Act.
Makes the amendments made by this Act retroactive to October 5, 1990.