U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS ADMINISTRATION
OFFICE OF WORKERS' COMPENSATION PROGRAMS
DIVISION OF ENERGY EMPLOYEES OCCUPATIONAL
   ILLNESS COMPENSATION
FINAL ADJUDICATION BRANCH



EMPLOYEE:

[Name Deleted]

 

CLAIMANT:

[Name Deleted]

 

FILE NUMBER:

[Number Deleted]

 

DOCKET NUMBER:

1400-2002

 

DECISION DATE:

January 22, 2002

 

 

 

NOTICE OF FINAL DECISION

 

This is the decision of the Final Adjudication Branch concerning your claim for compensation under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA).

 

On December 12, 2001, the Seattle District Office issued a recommended decision concluding that the deceased covered employee was a member of the Special Exposure Cohort, as that term is defined in 7384l(14) of the EEOICPA, and that you are entitled to compensation in the amount of $150,000 pursuant to 7384s of the EEOICPA as his survivor. On December 17, 2001, the Final Adjudication Branch received written notification from you waiving any and all objections to the recommended decision.

 

The undersigned has reviewed the evidence of record and the recommended decision issued by the Seattle district office on December 12, 2001, and finds that:

 

In a report dated August 20, 1996, Dr. John Mues diagnosed the deceased covered employee with mixed squamous/adenocarcinoma of the lung. The report states the diagnosis was based on the results of a thoracoscopy and nodule removal. Lung cancer is a specified disease as that term is defined in 7384l(17)(A) of the EEOICPA and 20 CFR 30.5(dd)(2) of the EEOICPA regulations.

 

You stated in the employment history that the deceased covered employee worked for S.S. Mullins on Amchitka Island, Alaska from April 21, 1967 to June 17, 1969. Nancy Shaw, General Counsel for the Teamsters Local 959 confirmed the employment by affidavit dated November 1, 2001. The affidavit is acceptable evidence in accordance with 30.111 (c) of the EEOICPA regulations.

 

Jeffrey L. Kotch[1], a certified health physicist, has advised it is his professional opinion that radioactivity from the Long Shot underground nuclear test was released to the atmosphere a month after the detonation on October 29, 1965. He further states that as a result of those airborne radioactive releases, SEC members who worked on Amchitka Island, as defined in EEOICPA 7384l(14)(B), could have been exposed to ionizing radiation from the Long Shot underground nuclear test beginning a month after the detonation, i.e., the exposure period could be from approximately December 1, 1965 through January 1, 1974 (the end date specified in EEOICPA, 7384l(14)(B)). He supports his opinion with the Department of Energy study, Linking Legacies, DOE/EM-0319, dated January 1997, which reported that radioactive contamination on Amchitka Island occurred as a result of activities related to the preparation for underground nuclear tests and releases from Long Shot and Cannikin. Tables 4-4 and C-1, on pages 79 and 207, respectively, list Amchitka Island as a DOE Environmental Management site with thousands of cubic meters of contaminated soil resulting from nuclear testing.

 

The covered employee was a member of the Special Exposure Cohort as defined in 7384l(14)(B) of the EEOICPA and 30.210(a)(2) and 30.213(a)(2) of the EEOICPA regulations. This is supported by evidence that shows he was working on Amchitka Island for S.S. Mullins during the potential exposure period, December 1, 1965 to January 1, 1974.

 

The covered employee died February 17, 1999. Metastatic lung cancer was included as a immediate cause of death on the death certificate.

 

You were married to the covered employee August 18, 1961 and were his wife at the time of his death. You are the eligible surviving spouse of the covered employee as defined in 7384s of the EEOICPA, as amended by the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2002 (Public Law 107-107, 115 Stat. 1012, 1371, December 28, 2001.[2]

 

The undersigned hereby affirms the award of $150,000.00 to you as recommended by the Seattle District Office.

 

Washington, DC

 

 

 

 

Thomasyne L. Hill

Hearing Representative

 

 



[1] Jeffrey L. Kotch is a certified health physicist employed with the Department of Labor, EEOICP, Branch of Policies, Regulations and Procedures. He provided his professional opinion in a December 6, 2001 memorandum to Peter Turcic, Director of EEOICP.


[2] Title XXXI of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2002 amended the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act.