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Albuquerque City Council Supports Radiation Exposure Compensation Act for the People of New Mexico

District 7 Councilor Tammy Fiebelkorn’s proclamation urges U.S. Legislators to extend and expand help for New Mexicans for the first time.
March 18, 2024

ALBUQUERQUE – The Albuquerque City Council has issued a proclamation in support of extending and expanding the nation’s Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA).

Albuquerque City Councilor for District 7 Tammy Fiebelkorn crafted the proclamation in support of extending the act which is scheduled to expire this year on June 7. RECA pays restitution and medical care to people who were exposed to radiation from the U.S. nuclear weapons testing program. Councilor Fiebelkorn believes that the compensation should be extended and should expand to cover New Mexicans.

“It has been nearly 80 years since the first nuclear bomb was detonated in New Mexico and since then over one thousand atomic tests have been conducted in the southwest of the U.S.,” Councilor Fiebelkorn stated. “Hundreds of thousands of those exposed to nuclear radioactivity have received some form of compensation, and yet thousands of “Downwinders” in our own state have never been included in the RECA act compensation. We all need to let our U.S. legislators know that compensation is still needed.”

The U.S. Congress has approved budgeting $50 billion per year to compensate downwinders for the past 33 years under the act. As RECA’s expiration approaches, there are two congressional bills that would extend and expand RECA. U.S. Senate Bill 385 and House Resolution 4426. Both bills would continue RECA relief for survivors and for the first time will include New Mexico’s “Downwinders.”

Tina Cordova, cancer survivor and co-founder of the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium expressed her gratitude. “We want to thank Councilor Fiebelkorn for her leadership and bringing forth this Proclamation to the Albuquerque City Council. Everyone in New Mexico is a Downwinder and many people in Albuquerque have been affected by New Mexico’s nuclear industry. We must all stand together in pursuit of justice for the negative health consequences that we’ve collectively suffered.”