EEOICPA CIRCULAR NO. 12-07            March 3, 2012

 

SUBJECT:  Linde Ceramics Plant Special Exposure Cohort Class (SEC) from November 1, 1947 through December 31, 1953.

 

The purpose of this Circular is to notify all Division of Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation (DEEOIC) staff of the SEC class designation for the Linde Ceramics Plant located in Tonowanda, New York.

 

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 Linde Ceramics Plant, in Tonowanda, New York, 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 December 29, 2011, the Board submitted recommendations to the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to add to the SEC a class of employees who worked at the Linde Ceramics Plant in Tonawanda, New York.

 

On February 2, 2012, the Secretary of HHS designated the following class for addition to the SEC in a report to Congress:

 

All Atomic Weapons Employees who worked in any area at the Linde Ceramics Plant in Tonawanda, New York, from November 1, 1947 through December 31, 1953, 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 March 3, 2012, which was 30 days after the Secretary of HHS designated the class for addition to the SEC in the report to Congress.

 

To qualify under this SEC class, the employee must be an Atomic Weapons Employee who has worked at least 250 workdays at the Linde Ceramics Plant in Tonawanda, New York between November 1, 1947 and December 31, 1953.  If the employee does not have 250 workdays at the Linde Ceramics Plant during the period of the class, the case file must be reviewed to determine if additional days in the SEC can be found by combining days from employment meeting the criteria for other SEC classes and aggregating them together to meet the 250-workday requirement.

 

While a new SEC class has been added for employees at the Linde Ceramics Plant, NIOSH intends to use any available 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).  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 Linde Ceramics 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.

 

As outlined in EEOICPA BULLETIN NO. 11-07, the district offices are to use the comprehensive list provided as the basis for an initial screening of cases associated with all SEC classes.  For screening only, the results reflected on the initial screening worksheet must be recorded in ECS using the NIOSH causation path.  If a NIOSH causation path has not yet been created, one must be created.  From the NIOSH path on the case, the ‘View/Perform SEC Screening’ window is selected.  Based on the result of the review and in accordance with the ‘SEC Class Screening Worksheet’, the appropriate result of “Likely SEC” (formerly the ISL code) or “Unlikely SEC” (formerly the ISU code) or “SEC Development Needed” (formerly the ISD code) is selected.  The date of the signed worksheet is recorded in the date field. For this SEC, the reason is “Rvwd per Circular 12-07, Linde Ceramics Plant SEC (11/1/47 – 12/31/53)”.  If the CE determines that the case is going to be awarded based an SEC, a positive SEC causation path must be entered into ECS.  This process is the equivalent of the SER/SEF codes discussed in Bulletin 11-07. 

 

 

 

RACHEL P. LEITON

Director, Division of Energy Employees

Occupational Illness Compensation

 

Attachments

 

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