New Mexicans hope to be compensated for health impact of nuclear test | KOB 4
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New Mexicans hope to be compensated for health impact of nuclear test

Casey Torres
June 21, 2018 06:47 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - For eight years, the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium (TBDC) has fought to be included in the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA). On June 27, they will be headed to Washington D.C. to have their voices heard.

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“We just want to be treated exactly like the other downwinders and no one from New Mexico has been acknowledged or included,” Tina Cordova, Co-Founder of the TBDC said in a phone interview.

Cordova said the nuclear bomb test of 1945 brought serious health issues to those living nearby—specifically cancer.

She said the Nevada Test Site downwinders have received healthcare coverage under RECA, but the Tularosa Basin Downwinders haven’t received any help.

“There were people living as close as 12 miles to the Trinity Test site. In a 50 mile radius, there were tens of thousands of people living in New Mexico at that time,” Cordova said.

The Tularosa Basin Downwinders were invited to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee in July and December of 2017, but both hearings were postponed.

Now, Cordova will testify on behalf of the TBDC.

“We’ll be given five minutes to basically tell our story and try to compel them to include us in the compensation,” Cordova said.

The Tularosa Basin Downwinders have the support of two United States Senators that have been supporting their cause for years.

“New Mexico has made invaluable contributions to our nation’s nuclear history, but those contributions did not come without a cost,” Senator Martin Heinrich wrote in a statement.

“It’s a long time coming and hopefully a key step in closing a sad chapter in our history,” Sen. Tom Udall also said.

There will be a livestream of the hearing. It’ll start at 8 a.m. Mountain Time.

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Casey Torres

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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