Mohave County Downwinders

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MOHAVE COUNTY -- It's the story of some Arizona residents who believe they have been victimized by the U.S. government not once, but twice.

In February, Rep. Trent Franks introduced H.R. 4712, a measure meant to remunerate Mohave residents who were adversely affected by above ground nuclear testing that took place in the 1950s and '60s.

The bill would allow those in Mohave County to make claims under the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act, which was designed to proved payment to those who developed serious illnesses, including cancer, as a result of radiation exposure in the wake of those tests.

Mohave County was not included as an eligible compensation area when RECA was passed in 1990. It was overlooked again when RECA was amended in 2000 to include more areas.

Mohave County's lack of inclusion was "despite the fact that hundreds of Mohave County residents were affected by these weapons tests, a conclusion also reached by the National Research Council and the National Academy of Sciences," Franks said in a news release after introducing the measure."

Franks has been working on getting compensation for Mohave County residents since 2003.

"I hope this bill will finally ensure the compassionate compensation of every person affected by these weapons tests, including those in Mohave County who have, to this point, been unjustifiably excluded," he said a news release.

H.R. 4712 is pending in the Judiciary Committee.