During the field campus, we also heard from St. Louis locals about their own methods of documenting, analyzing and describing environmental issues in the region. In a discussion moderated by Tony West, director of The Safe Side of the Fence, we met with Brian Zink, an attorney at Atomic Weapons Employee Consultants; Wendy Verhoff, a historian of radioactive waste in St. Louis; and Denise Brock, the Ombudsman to National Institute for for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
The discussion centered on the legacy of uranium refining in the city, and more than half a million nuclear workers who developed exposure-related illnesses. Much of the talk focused on Denise Brock’s key role in the passage of the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA). This legislation ensures that compensation and payment of medical expenses are available to workers and their families who developed illnesses due to exposure to radioactive substances at certain nuclear facilities.