New Mexico Influence Magazine & Yvette Herrel Tackle the Downwinders Issue


The feature story in this months edition of Southeastern New Mexico’s Influence Magazine was titled “The Day the Sun Exploded.” The feature story covers the events of July 16, 1945 and the testing of America’s first atomic bomb just outside Alamogordo. The story follows up on the impact on the area from the fall out and the fight of the trinity Downwinders.

Congressional Representative Yvette Herrell has put partisanship aside and hosted hearings today on the issue…

Today, Congresswoman Yvette Herrell and Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) hosted a bipartisan event with other members of Congress to discuss the pressing need to pass legislation to compensate post-1971 uranium miners and downwinders.

Thousands of New Mexicans have been impacted by health problems from radiation exposure caused by Cold War era nuclear testing and the uranium mining program of the federal government. “Unfortunately, more and more of my constituents are passing away every day from the side effects of decades old nuclear testing and uranium mining without the compensation they deserve," said Rep. Herrell. "Time is of the essence for Congress to take meaningful action to make my constituents whole. I am committed to working with my colleagues from both parties to get legislation passed as soon as possible."

“Wyoming uranium miners heroically helped our country win the Cold War, but sadly, due to radiation exposure, are facing healthcare struggles associated with their time in the mines,” said Sen. Lummis. “I am committed to finding a responsible solution to RECA reauthorization that helps compensate miners without bankrupting our country in the process. Thank you to my colleagues for convening today in my office to discuss next steps. American miners deserve a timely and fair solution and we are committed to delivering just that.”

Congresswoman Herrell is an original cosponsor of the bi-partisan Radiation Exposure Compensation Amendments Act, which provides compensation to New Mexicans who were exposed to radiation while working in uranium mines post-1971 or lived downwind from Cold War era nuclear testing. This bill has been approved by the House Judiciary Committee and is awaiting consideration by the whole House of Representatives.

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