Two Tri-City events are planned related to a federal program that compensates current and former ill Hanford and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory workers or their survivors.
Town hall meetings on the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program are planned Thursday in Pasco by the U.S. Department of Labor.
A meeting is planned at 2 p.m. and will be repeated at 6 p.m. at the Red Lion Hotel, 2525 N. 20th Ave.
Federal representatives will be available to explain benefits that include compensation and coverage of medical expenses for workers who may have become ill as a result of workplace exposure to radiation or hazardous chemicals at Department of Energy facilities. Coverage is offered for federal, contractor and subcontractor workers.
At Hanford, the compensation program, including $150,000 for some cancer diagnoses, stretches back to workers exposed in the 1940s. In some cases, compensation may be paid to survivors.
Representatives can help people file new claims or check on the status of existing claims at the meeting.
The program has already paid about $1.6 billion to Hanford or PNNL workers or their survivors in compensation and for medical care.
An advisory board for the nationwide program also plans a meeting in the Tri-Cities Wednesday and Thursday.
The Advisory Board on Toxic Substances and Worker Health will meet at the Red Lion Hanford House, 802 George Washington Way, Richland.
An agenda for the meeting has not been released, but technical topics expected to be discussed include evidence requirements for lung disease compensation, weighing medical evidence, and site exposure matrices that provide workers with data on toxic substances by work place.
The advisory board is expected to spend Tuesday touring the Hanford nuclear reservation. Wednesday it will meet from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., with public comment heard from 4:30 to 6 p.m. On Thursday the board will meet from 8 to 11 a.m.
Requests to speak should be sent to EnergyAdvisoryBoard@dol.gov. Include the name of the advisory board and the meeting date. Comments may be emailed to the same address.
Comments also may be mailed to U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs, Advisory Board on Toxic Substances and Worker Health, Room S-3524, 200 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20210.