Bill to provide health task force for Hanford workers passes Sen - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Bill to provide health task force for Hanford workers passes Senate

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RICHLAND, WA - A task force to protect the health of workers at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation passed the Washington State Senate unanimously.

The bill, which is sponsored by Senator Sharon Brown, is to develop recommendations for diagnosing and treating Hanford workers that have been exposed to any chemicals working on the Hanford Site. The task force plans to have their inaugural meeting by October, and plan to meet at least two times per year. 

The bill still needs to pass by the Washington State House of Representatives, but Senator Brown is optimistic.

"It's a very serious topic, and I'm hoping that the House will take it in quickly," Senator Brown said. "We need to not waste any time in finding the solutions."

The task force will consist of representatives from Harborview Medical Center, the Department of Energy, Pipefitters Union Local 5-98, along with others.

Senator Brown is also working with top management of the Washington State Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Energy at Hanford.

The task force will present a report to the Legislature by the first of December every year, starting in 2019.