STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT: Signing of an Executive Order to Help Implement the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Act of 2000
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release
December 7, 2000

                        STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

     Today, I am pleased to sign an Executive Order that will help
implement the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Act of
2000, which authorized compensation for thousands of Department of Energy
workers who sacrificed their health in building the nation's nuclear
defenses.  These individuals, many of whom were neither protected from nor
informed of the hazards to which they were exposed, developed occupational
illnesses as a result of their exposure to radiation and other hazards
unique to nuclear weapons production and testing.

     This order builds on the Administration's previously articulated
principles and the framework established in the Act to ensure the
compassionate, fair, and timely compensation of these workers and their
families.  Specifically, the order defines the respective responsibilities
of the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Energy, and
Justice; establishes an Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health; and
creates an interagency group to develop a legislative proposal and address
program implementation issues.

     While the nation can never fully repay these workers or their
families, they deserve fair compensation for their sacrifices.  I am
pleased to take the next critical step in ensuring that these courageous
individuals receive the compensation and recognition they have long


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