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Assessment of the Scientific Information for the Radiation Exposure Screening and Education Program
participants, and $50,000 for downwinders in whom compensable cancer or one of a defined set of other diseases is diagnosed.
On July 10, 2000, Congress passed the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act Amendments of 2000 (PL 106-245), which revised the original act in several important respects. First, two new claimant categories were added—uranium millers involved in the crushing, grinding, and leaching of the ore during the uranium extraction process and ore transporters, who typically trucked uranium ore from the mine or mill. The 2000 Amendments also specified additional compensable diseases for all claimant categories, reduced the radiation exposure threshold for uranium miners, modified medical documentation requirements, removed some lifestyle restrictions that had limited eligibility for compensation, and expanded the geographic area for the downwinder claimant category.
Further expansion of the program followed with enactment of the Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act (PL 107-273), signed into law on November 2, 2002. That legislation included both technical and substantive changes in RECA. In particular, it provided uranium miners with an additional method of establishing exposure to radiation based solely on their duration of employment in a uranium mine.
The RECA amendments of 2000 also amended Subpart I of Part C of Title IV of the Public Health Service Act to add section 417C, on grants for education, prevention, and early detection of radiogenic cancers and other diseases. Section 417C provides the authority for competitive grants to states, local governments, and appropriate health-care organizations to initiate and support programs for health screening, education, medical referral, and appropriate followup services for persons eligible under RECA. People eligible for this program are categorized by the nature of their exposure to radiation as defined by 42 USC 2210 note and sections 4(a)(1)(A)(i) and 5(a)(1)(A) of PL 106-245 and in 28 CFR Part 79. Those categories comprise uranium miners, uranium millers, ore transporters, downwinders, and onsite civilian nuclear-weapons test participants. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) oversee the grants, which make up the Radiation Exposure Screening and Education Program (RESEP).
In September 2002, in response to a congressional mandate (PL 107-206), HRSA asked the National Research Council’s Board on Radiation Effects Research to convene a committee to assess recent biologic, epidemiologic, and related scientific evidence associating radiation exposure with cancers or other human health effects and to determine how such information might affect estimates of the magnitude of the associated health risks. The present committee was formed in response to that request. Under the congressional mandate, HRSA charged the committee to consider the issues and make recommendations, on the basis of scientific knowledge and principles, regarding
A. technical assistance to HRSA and its grantees on improving accessibility and quality of medical screening, education, and referral services;