February 04, 2005

Delegation Pushes For Additional Opportunities For Idahoans To Testify In Fallout Study

Public meeting in Idaho would provide another format for input

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Idaho Senators Larry Craig and Mike Crapo, and Representatives Mike Simpson and C.L. â??Butchâ?? Otter sent a letter today to the National Academy of Sciencesâ?? National Board on Radiation, thanking the board for its responsiveness to delegation requests regarding the study of people affected by iodine-131 fallout from the 1950s and 1960s and the Radiation Exposure Compensation Program. The delegation also requested that the Board send a representative to Idaho to take oral testimony from Idahoans who wish to have their information incorporated in the study. â??You have indicated that, to date, approximately 300 inputs from Idaho have now been received and cataloged,â?? the delegation wrote. â??Additionally, we have forwarded...any information or case histories received by our local offices throughout Idaho and in Washington, DC. We will continue to do so.â?? The delegation continued, â??While the number of written responses is encouraging, in talking with our constituents, we are convinced that an opportunity for the public to give oral testimony, at a location in Idaho, will increase the likelihood that those Idahoans who wish to have their information incorporated in the study will do so, by making available another format. Because we do not wish to delay the ongoing study, we have asked that the Board send a representative accompanied by an official recorder and any members of the study committee who can attend to a public meeting in Idaho where oral testimony will be received and an official transcript compiled for incorporation into the study record. This approach both preserves the Boardâ??s ongoing efforts and schedule while increasing the official record of Idaho cases.â?? Findings and recommendations resulting from this review of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Program will be published by the Board in a report due in the spring of 2005. The full text of the letter is attached. September 9, 2004 Dr. Isaf Al-NabulsiNational Board on Radiation500 5th Street, NWWashington, DC 20001 Dear Dr. Al-Nabulsi, Thank you for your work examining the Radiation Exposure Compensation Program and your stewardship of the ongoing study, to be concluded next spring, of issues surrounding radioactive fallout from historic atmospheric nuclear weapons testing. We have appreciated your responsiveness in working with us to solicit and incorporate information specifically regarding Idaho cancer cases into the Board's work. You have indicated that, to date, approximately 300 inputs from Idaho have now been received and cataloged. Additionally, we have forwarded by fax and electronic mail, on a real time basis, any information or case histories received by our local offices throughout Idaho and in Washington, DC. We will continue to do so. You have been extremely accommodating in taking this ongoing input and we are fully supportive of your work. We are eager to see the Board's report and recommendations developed without delay of any kind. While the number of written responses is encouraging, in talking with our constituents, we are convinced that an opportunity for the public to give oral testimony, at a location in Idaho, will increase the likelihood that those Idahoans who wish to have their information incorporated in the study will have another format in which to do so. Because we do not wish to delay the ongoing study, we have asked that the Board send a representative accompanied by an official recorder and any members of the study committee who can attend to a public meeting in Idaho where oral testimony will be received and an official transcript compiled for incorporation into the study record. This approach both preserves the Board's ongoing efforts and schedule while increasing the official record of Idaho cases. Such a public meeting also would allow the Board to present to Idaho citizens a detailed explanation of the study and its objectives. We will continue working closely with you in planning for and bringing about this public meeting. Widespread and early notification of this opportunity to citizens throughout Idaho also will be essential to maximize participation. Thank you again for your receptiveness and flexibility in working with us to ensure that Idaho's story is reflected in the Board's work to the greatest degree possible. Sincerely, Larry E. Craig Mike CrapoUnited States Senator United States Senator Mike Simpson C.L. â??Butchâ?? OtterMember of Congress Member of Congress [30]