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A bill that would have covered cancer and other illnesses under presumption for workers at the decommissioned Hanford nuclear site in Hanford, Washington, died in a Senate committee after lawmakers failed to put it to a vote, according to a spokesperson for the bill’s sponsor.
House Bill 1723 passed the state’s House early in March but failed to garner enough Senate interest, the spokesman for state Rep. Larry Haler, R-Richland, told Business Insurance on Monday. The representative did not wish to comment.
The federally operated site, which has gone by several names since it opened in 1943, is known for having manufactured the plutonium used in one of the atomic bombs dropped in Japan in 1945. It is also known for its workers’ illnesses, including various cancers.
The bill would have established presumption under the state’s workers compensation laws for workers who suffer from specific cancers, including leukemia, lung cancer, bone cancer, kidney cancer, lymphoma and other cancers affecting more than a dozen body parts, according to the House-approved draft of the failed legislation.
A bill that would provide a workers compensation benefits for cancer and other illnesses suffered by workers at a decommissioned nuclear site in Washington state could spur other states with antiquated and toxic nuclear sites to consider similar legislation, according to experts.