|U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR||OFFICE OF WORKERS' COMPENSATION PROGRAMS
DIVISION OF ENERGY EMPLOYEES OCCUPATIONAL
FINAL ADJUDICATION BRANCH
NOTICE OF FINAL DECISION FOLLOWING
REVIEW OF THE WRITTEN RECORD
This is the decision of the Final Adjudication Branch (FAB) concerning the above claim for compensation under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act of 2000, as amended (EEOICPA), 42 U.S.C. § 7384 et seq. For the reasons stated below, the claim for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) under Part E of EEOICPA is denied.
STATEMENT OF THE CASE
On August 9, 2005, the employee filed a claim for benefits under Part E of EEOICPA and alleged that he had contracted COPD. In support of his claim, he submitted an employment history stating that he was employed as a security officer by EG&G Special Projects at the Nevada Test Site (NTS) from January 1981 to October 1990, and that he wore a dosimetry badge while employed. The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) database did not contain information to verify this employment. The Department of Energy (DOE) verified the employee’s employment with Edgerton, Germeshausen, and Grier Special Projects and stated, “This was not a DOE-funded project and was not associated with the DOE Nevada Test Site work.”
On June 15, 2007, the
By letter dated January 25, 2008, the Seattle district office informed the employee that under Part E of EEOICPA, an employee must have worked for a DOE contractor or subcontractor at a DOE facility during a covered time period, and that to date, DOE had verified his employment by EG&G Special Projects at the Nevada Test Site from January 1, 1981 to October 31, 1990. He was informed that DOE had indicated that EG&G Special Projects was not a DOE funded project and that any employment for these projects took place outside the borders of the NTS, and therefore was not covered employment under EEOICPA. The district office asked him to submit evidence to establish that EG&G Special Projects was involved in operations for DOE or on behalf of DOE at the NTS.
In a response received by the
On February 29,
On March 12, 2008, FAB received the employee’s written objections to the recommended decision. In his objection letter, he stated the following:
I am submitting a copyrighted
article from the Las Vegas Review Journal dated Thursday, December 16,
1999. In this article there is a
discussion of President Clinton signing into law, under the military lands
withdrawal act of 1999. The document in
question was signed on
On August 5, 2008, the Division of Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation (DEEOIC) issued EEOICPA Circular No. 08-06 which states the following:
The Nevada Test Site is a
covered DOE facility for the period 1951-present. The DEEOIC considers Area 51 part of NTS for
the period 1958-1999. The DOE categorizes Reynolds Electrical and
Engineering Company (REECo) and Bechtel
By letter dated October 17, 2008, DOE confirmed for FAB that EG&G Special Projects was not a DOE contractor at the Nevada Test Site.
After considering the evidence of record, FAB hereby makes the following:
FINDINGS OF FACT
1. The employee was employed by EG&G Special Projects from January 5, 1981 to October 15, 1990.
2. The case file does not contain sufficient evidence to establish that the employee worked for a DOE contractor or subcontractor at the NTS.
Based on the above-noted findings of fact, FAB also hereby makes the following:
CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
The term “covered DOE contractor employee” used in Part E is defined as a DOE contractor employee determined to have contracted a covered illness through exposure at a DOE facility. See 42 U.S.C. § 7385s(1). The term “covered illness” means an illness or death resulting from exposure to a toxic substance. 42 U.S.C. § 7385s(2).
DEEOIC has researched the issue
of claimed employment at Area 51 of NTS, and considers Area 51 to be part
of NTS for the period 1958-1999. As noted above, DOE categorizes REECo and Bechtel Nevada, Inc. as “captive contractors” for
DOE and its predecessors; this means that employees of REECo
It is the claimant’s responsibility to establish entitlement to benefits under EEOICPA. The regulations at 20 C.F.R. § 30.111(a) state that the claimant bears the burden of proving, by a preponderance of the evidence, the existence of each and every criterion under any compensable claim category. Proof by a preponderance of the evidence means that it is more likely than not that the proposition to be proved is true. See 20 C.F.R. § 30.111(a) (2008).
As found above, the evidence of record establishes that the employee worked for EG&G Special Projects, but does not establish that he is a “covered DOE contractor employee” as defined by 42 U.S.C. § 7385s(1), because he did not work for a DOE contractor or subcontractor. Therefore, the claim must be denied for lack of covered employment under Part E of EEOICPA.
Amanda M. Fallon
Final Adjudication Branch