Post-71 Uranium Workers Committee (Post ’71) was formed in 2007 by a group of former uranium miners, millers, ore haulers, and drillers who aim to document health conditions among people who worked in the uranium industry after 1971 and to secure compensation for post 1971 uranium workers under the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) as amended. People who worked in uranium before 1971 qualify for federal assistance for uranium-related medical conditions under the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA). Uranium workers after 1971 (Post ’71) do not qualify for RECA compensation although they face the same health consequences.
Linda Evers, who leads Post ‘71, lives across the street from the Homestake Uranium Tailings Pond in Grants, NM. Linda worked in uranium mining and production from 1976 to 1982, including during both of her pregnancies. Linda and both of her children have suffered from extreme health consequences due to radiation exposure. To hear more of Linda’s story, see her written testimony here: https://nuclear-voices.org/2020/01/18/post71/#testimonies-post71
Post ‘71’s main focus today is advocating for H.R. 3783 and S. 947, the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act Amendments of 2019. This legislation would expand the communities eligible for compensation to include people who worked in the uranium industry after 1971.
After several unsuccessful attempts to secure help from professional researchers, Post ‘71 created their own survey for Post ‘71 uranium workers in 2007, including questions about working conditions and worker/family health. They also completed a follow-up survey in 2009. The survey was put up on the organization’s website and distributed at meetings around northern New Mexico. These efforts, aided by word of mouth, resulted in 1300 surveys received primarily from NM and some from 23 other states. The results of the survey are available here: https://nuclear-voices.org/2020/01/18/post71/#resources-post71. This is still the most comprehensive study ever done on Post-71 uranium workers.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR COLLABORATION
Federal advocacy on RECA: Linda and others in Post ‘71 have traveled to DC in the past to lobby in support of federal legislation. However, their trips have always been self-funded. Post ‘71 would appreciate support for funding future lobby trips, as well as help making connections with key Congressional offices. They also want to ensure that uranium miners are represented and heard in any discussions about RECA expansion.
Media: Post ‘71 works closely with local news outlets and reporters to raise awareness of their issues, but would also appreciate the opportunity to receive national and more diverse media coverage.