EEOICPA CIRCULAR NO. 12-06 January 20, 2012
SUBJECT: Pantex Plant Special Exposure Cohort (SEC) Class from January 1, 1958 through December 31, 1983.
The purpose of this Circular is to notify all Division of Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation (DEEOIC) staff of the new SEC class designation for the Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas.
Pursuant to the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act of 2000 (EEOICPA) and 42 C.F.R. Part 83, a petition was filed on behalf of workers from the Pantex Plant, in Amarillo, Texas to be added to the SEC.
The decision to initiate this petition occurred after the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) determined that it could not reconstruct a dose under 42 C.F.R. § 83.13. NIOSH submitted its findings to the Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health (“the Board”). On November 17, 2011, the Board submitted recommendations to the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to add to the SEC an additional class of employees who worked at the Pantex Plant, in Amarillo, Texas.
On December 21, 2011, the Secretary of HHS designated the following class for addition to the SEC in a report to Congress:
All employees of the Department of Energy, its predecessor agencies, and their contractors and subcontractors who worked at the Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas, during the period from January 1, 1958 through December 31, 1983, for a number of work days aggregating at least 250 work days, occurring either solely under this employment or in combination with work days within the parameters established for one or more other classes of employees included in the SEC.
A copy of the Secretary’s letter to Congress recommending the designation is included as Attachment 1. Although Congress had the authority to reject the recommendation within a 30-day time frame, Congress took no action. Therefore, the SEC designation for this class became effective as of January 20, 2012, which was 30 days after the Secretary of HHS designated the class for addition to the SEC in the report to Congress.
While a new SEC class has been added for employees at the Pantex Plant, NIOSH intends to use any internal and external monitoring data that may become available for an individual claim (and that can be interpreted using existing NIOSH dose reconstruction processes or procedures). Additionally, NIOSH can reconstruct internal and external dose for uranium extraction operations based upon source term information. It can also estimate occupational medical dose. This means that for claims that do not satisfy the SEC membership criteria, a partial dose reconstruction is to be performed by NIOSH. A copy of the NIOSH letter to affected Pantex Plant employees is included as Attachment 2.
This Circular should be used in conjunction with EEOICPA Bulletin 11-07, Special Exposure Cohort Claim Processing. A screening worksheet is included as Attachment 3.
The reason code “206 – Rvwd per Circular 12-06, Pantex Plant SEC (1/1/58 – 12/31/83)” has been added to ECMS to be used in conjunction with the coding instructions outlined in the EEOICPA Bulletin 11-07 (or when available, the CE is to choose the appropriate selection from the ECS menu.)
RACHEL P. LEITON
Director, Division of Energy Employees
Occupational Illness Compensation
Distribution List No. 1: Claims Examiners, Supervisory Claims Examiners, Technical Assistants, Customer Service Representatives, Fiscal Officers, FAB District Managers, Operation Chiefs, Hearing Representatives, District Office Mail & File Section