Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium Releases Its Health Impact Assessment Report about the 1945 Trinity Test at Three Public Meetings
After nearly 72 years since the 1945 Trinity atomic bomb test, the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium has culled information from almost 800 health surveys filled out by individuals and families impacted by the radiation released by the test, and will release its Health Impact Assessment report at three public meetings, beginning on February 10th in Tularosa. A Health Impact Assessment relies on various data sources, prioritizing stakeholder feedback, to demonstrate how a policy or program would impact the health of the affected communities and make recommendations to mitigate health risks within the decision-making processes.
The assessment focuses on the potential benefits of the proposed 2017 amendments to the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act, which includes the Trinity Downwinders as recipients of health care and $150,000 in compensation. New Mexico Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich introduced the proposed amendments last week. https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/197
Senator Udall said, “Our bill is about fairness for the victims of the Trinity test site in New Mexico, the former uranium miners and their families in the Four Corners region, and other victims across the West who have been left out of the original law but deserve recognition and compensation for their hardships.” http://www.tomudall.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=2529 Further, a national day of remembrance for those affected downwind from the aboveground nuclear weapons testing was declared for Friday, January 27, 2017. https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-resolution/25
No major health study by the U.S. government or other entity has ever been focused on the people living downwind and downstream of the world’s first atmospheric nuclear test. The Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium is the first group to complete a study and release it to the public. The Health Impact Assessment focuses on the harm done in the downwind counties of Lincoln, Otero, Sierra, and Socorro.
Three public events will be held. A light meal will be served at each event. The first event will occur in Tularosa on Friday, February 10th at 6 pm at the Tularosa Community Center, 1050 Bookout Road. The second event will occur in Socorro on Saturday, February 11th at noon at the Socorro Youth Center, 1002 Ake Boulevard. The third event will occur in Albuquerque on Wednesday, February 15th at 6 pm at the Albuquerque Peace and Justice Center, 202 Harvard, Southeast.
Tina Cordova, co-founder of the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium, invites you to join the Consortium in the release of the Health Impact Assessment. She said, “It has been a long time coming, but this Assessment is witness to what the people in the communities living adjacent to the Trinity test site have been living with for 72 years. We have suffered for so long without any recognition for our sacrifices. We still have work to do, but I am immensely proud of the Health Impact Assessment work and the report.”
The New Mexico Health Equity Partnership, an initiative of the Santa Fe Community Foundation, provided funding for the Health Impact Assessment. http://nmhep.org/
To support the work of the Consortium, please download the attached sample public comment letter to Senator Crapo, the sponsor of Senate Bill 197 to amend RECA and newest member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and co-sponsors, Senator Udall and Senator Heinrich, about holding hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee at the earliest possible date. RECA_Senate_Ltr_020317