Compound statement

Inslee Statement on Hanford Worker Protection


Governor Jay Inslee today released a statement regarding the United States Department of Justice’s request for review in the United States Supreme Court against state law protecting Hanford workers.

“The Justice Department’s decision to pursue this matter in the United States Supreme Court is a mistake that threatens to further the suffering of Hanford workers. At every step of the court process, federal courts have rejected attempts by the federal government to strike down our state’s law establishing a presumption of causation for workers made ill by exposure at the Hanford site. I implore Attorney General Merrick Garland to consider the best interests of justice and to withdraw the petition from the department.

“We must not lose sight of why this legislation is necessary in the first place. For years, the federal government has failed in its obligation to care for these workers and their families. As the recent Hanford Healthy Energy Workers Board final report showed, nearly six in ten workers at the site surveyed reported exposure to radioactive or toxic material at Hanford, the most contaminated environmental clean-up site in the country. The federal government’s position in this case would tie the hands of the state and restore a system that was nearly impossible to navigate and left Hanford workers struggling to get help for illnesses that were clearly caused by exposures. on the site.

“I applaud Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s commitment to upholding this state law, as he has competently done twice before. There is still time to choose a different path, and I stand with the trade union community and all those who encourage the Department of Justice to take advantage of it No legal principle is so important that it can justify a plan of action. action that will jeopardize the health and safety of these workers and their families.

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