Department of Justice confirms that uranium-mining employment history may be substantiated by affidavit under certain circumstances, but the use of affidavits to establish employment as a miller or ore transporter is not allowed (Federal Register, Vol 69, No. 56, pgs. 13630-1). The committee could find no relevant difference to warrant that restriction on the use of affidavits and believes that it creates an unjustified inequity. This is not, strictly speaking, a scientific matter. The Congress may wish to consider re-examining the restriction and allow millers and ore transporters to submit affidavits as proof of employment.
Likewise, we heard argument from the Navajo Nation that an affidavit should be allowed as proof of presence or residence for downwinder claimants. The Department of Justice confirmed that an affidavit is not allowed as proof of presence for Native American downwinder claimants, although they are allowed to use them to establish employment (responses from the Department of Justice to the committee’s questions, March 16, 2004). Members of the Native American community did not have the proofs of presence—such as utility bills, telephone bills, and mailing addresses—that were available to those living off reservations. The Department of Justice works as well as it is able within the current law to help such people. The committee finds a relevant difference between the Native American’s ability to establish residence and that expected of the non-Native American population. To achieve equity of treatment regarding the processing of claims, the committee believes that Native Americans should be allowed to submit affidavits as proof of residency. The Congress may wish to consider re-evaluating this restriction.