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Presumptive comp bill for nuclear site workers revived in Wash. state

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A bill that would cover cancer and other illnesses under presumption for former workers of the decommissioned Hanford nuclear site in Hanford, Washington, was revived by the Washington state House Rules Committee on Tuesday.

An earlier draft of H.B. 1723 passed the state’s House in early March 2017 but failed to garner enough Senate interest, the spokesman for the bill’s sponsor State Rep. Larry Haler, R-Richland, told Business Insurance in April.

On Tuesday, another version of the bill, reintroduced to the House on Monday, was sent back to committee for a third reading, according to the latest update posted on the Washington State Legislature website Thursday.

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 on Japan in 1945. It is also known for its workers’ illnesses, including various cancers.

The bill would establish 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 latest draft.