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NIOSH Announces Intention to Review Scientific, Administrative Issues Pertaining to EEOICPA Program Responsibilities

NIOSH Update:

Contact: Fred Blosser, (202) 245-0645
October 29, 2009

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) today announced new developments pertaining to its program of scientific and technical support under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act.

Enacted in 2000, the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA) established a program of federal compensation for former nuclear weapons workers who suffered job-related cancer as a result of exposures to radiation during their employment.

“As the tenth anniversary of the Act approaches, it is an appropriate time to evaluate our progress in carrying out our responsibilities under the Act, and to evaluate how we are poised to meet ongoing and potential future needs,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D.

NIOSH will:

  • Begin a scientific and administrative review of its responsibilities under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act . This review will include an evaluation of the performance of the three regulations adopted by the Institute to carry out the purposes of the Act; the scientific issues that have arisen during the past 10 years that have impacted the process for dose reconstruction for claimants, as well as those that have impacted the process for adding new members to the Special Exposure Cohort established by Congress under the Act; the administrative processes designed by NIOSH to carry out responsibilities under the Act; and other issues that have been brought to the attention of NIOSH by stakeholders of the Program.
  • Initiate a national search for a new director of the NIOSH Office of Compensation Analysis and Support (OCAS), which administers NIOSH’s duties under the Act. Stuart Hinnefeld, Technical Program Manager in the NIOSH Office of Compensation Analysis and Support (OCAS), will assume the duties of interim OCAS director effective Nov. 2, 2009, pending the selection of a new permanent director. He succeeds Larry Elliott, who will serve in a new role as a NIOSH Associate Director with responsibilities for several high-priority projects, including projects related to plans for combining NIOSH’s Cincinnati, Ohio, laboratories, as well as additional duties pertaining to Institute-wide activities.

“I want to express my appreciation to Larry Elliott for his leadership over the past nine years as the founding director of OCAS,” Dr. Howard said. “Larry established the NIOSH Radiation Dose Reconstruction Program, ensured state-of-the-art facilities for the Program, oversaw the important work of several contractors, developed and implemented the three Program regulations, fairly administered a staff of outstanding health physicists and other technical experts in OCAS, worked collaboratively with the Departments of Labor and Energy and the many stakeholders of the Program, made numerous outstanding presentations on behalf of the Program, and processed more than 30,000 Part B cases received from the U.S. Department of Labor since the Program’s inception.”

Dr. Howard added, “Larry carried out those duties with great dedication and skill, and his abilities will serve us well in addressing the challenges that we face as we plan for NIOSH’s future. I also look forward to working with Stu as he follows Larry as the interim director of OCAS pending a national search for a new permanent director.”

More information about NIOSH’s duties under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act can be found at www.cdc.gov/niosh/ocas/.

 
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