By Jamie Jackson
The mission of the Coalition Against Contamination (CAC) is to support workers and their families whose health has been impaired because of toxins at Bannister Federal Complex (BFC) at Bannister and Troost in KC, MO. Parts for nuclear weapons were made there, at the Kansas City Plant, from 1949 to 2014, when the plant was replaced by a new facility in south KC, the National Security Campus. The newly formed CAC, including some long-time PeaceWorks members, is educating former workers and the public about past injustices and alerting the community about potential hazards from toxins released into the air and water once the planned BFC demolition goes forward.
The Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA) was signed into law in 2001. Part B mandates compensation for those employed at covered facilities and their survivors who have been diagnosed with certain cancers and pulmonary diseases. Hundreds of claims have been filed since 2001. Many have been unjustly denied. Recently, a Department of Labor whistleblower told the media that DOL officials have been deliberately thwarting workers’ claims by changing regulations to make the process more obscure. CAC welcomes the House and Senate investigations of DOL obstructions.
CAC held a town hall on Oct. 28 to gather testimony from workers, politicians, lawyers, scientists, and activists. Public awareness of this injustice will help workers move forward with the complicated claims process. CAC also wants the public to understand the potential threat from toxins released during the demolition and cleanup. The current plan for the demolition to meet industrial standards is not enough. Rather, demolition must be done to residential standards to protect the surrounding community. The coalition recommends using a huge tent during excavations and demolition to encapsulate contaminated dust, as other hazardous sites have used.
CAC needs your help. Find out how you can support CAC’s efforts at Coalition Against Contamination – KC: Bannister Cover Up on Facebook.com. For more information, contact Maurice Copeland of the CAC at 816-844- 0304 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
—Jamie Jackson is a charter member of CAC.