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                     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

     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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