Sen. Crapo pushes again for Idahoans to be included in Radiation Exposure Compensation Act
8:43 PM, Jun 27, 2018
Idaho senator Mike Crapo is trying once again to include Idaho Downwinders in the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act.
Today, Idaho residents who were affected by nuclear fallout testified before the judiciary committee to get their fair shake.
Emmett resident Eltona Henderson says nuclear fallout has hurt many in Idaho,. "Because of nuclear testing, our valley of plenty is now a valley of death." says Henderson.
She explains that 38 family members got cancer and 14 have died thanks to fallout of radioactive iodine 131.
The National Academy of Science says Gem County has the third highest level of exposure in the US.
"Idahoans I've spoken to in Emmett share stories of waking up to find pastures and orchards covered with a fine white dust that seemingly appeared out of nowhere."
Crapo says that was just after an above ground test in Nevada on June 6,1952.
In 1990, Congress passed the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act that has given out 2 billion dollars in one-time payments to affected Downwinders... But only in Arizona, Utah, and Nevada.
"It's not fair to pay restitution for some Downwinders and not for others," argues Henderson.
This is the first senate hearing in a decade for a bill to expand the compensation area.
But getting it passed is only half the battle.
Crapo explains the other difficulty, "If they can show they were harmed by testing 50 years ago."
But clearly, others have succeeded.
So, cancer sufferers like Henderson say they just want their opportunity to make their case.