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Stephens & Stephens has obtained over $60 million through the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act and the Energy Employees Occupation Illness Compensation Act for our clients

Gloria ReynoldsGloria Reynolds
04:16 30 Mar 24
Stephens & Stephens was very helpful in getting my claim processed and helping me in getting my settlement, staff was knowledgeable and professional and very kind if I call and needed to ask a question they would call me back within a timely manner. Thank you so much for your help .Continue to be blessed Gloria
Dee GodfreyDee Godfrey
18:49 12 Mar 24
I was astounded with the service I received from Mr. Hugh Stephens in regard to my husband's compensation claim. He was not only efficient, but also compassionate, and communicated clearly and frequently. Because of his outstanding efforts and expertise, I, who am now a grieving widow, am unexpectedly stabile and secure. I had little to do. He did all the heavy lifting. I'm so very grateful for his help. I'll always remember not only his professionalism, but also his kindness.
Audrey OgletreeAudrey Ogletree
22:19 09 Mar 24
From: Laurence OgletreeI received good assistance from Stephens & Stephens in submitting the recent claim for increased impairment benefits from the Energy Workers program.
Randy MooreRandy Moore
14:48 07 Mar 24
I was a machinist at Honeywell F.M.&T.and developed bilateral tinnitus and bilateral sensorineural hearing loss. They helped me file a claim with EEOICPA in 2017. Stephen’s & Stephen’s was very good to work with, they take care of all the paperwork and help with any paperwork I receive from the Department of Labor. They stay on top of things helping with scheduling impairment reviews etc.I feel that without their help this would have been a very overwhelming process.I plan on still using them if any other illnesses occur due to my employment with Honeywell.
Mike DauzatMike Dauzat
15:54 02 Mar 24
I highly recommend Stevens and Stevens. Hugh Stevens and his staff are very professional and very friendly. They're extremely good at making sure you get the full amount of money you deserve. If you need a DOL lawyer, I highly recommend this team. I can't be more happy that I picked Stevens and Stevens.
Mary YbarraMary Ybarra
01:33 27 Feb 24
Stephen’s and Stephen’s has kept fight for my dad. Now they are fight for my mom. They are on top of things and I would recommend them to anyone who needs help and guidance with the Uranium mines.
Dianne HarperDianne Harper
01:02 17 Feb 24
Robert and I are very pleased with Mr. Hugh Stephens and all that he has done for us. From the first moment we spoke, we sensed that though Mr. Stephens exhibits sharp business acumen, he cares deeply about his clients and he has a huge heart.
Diane pontonDiane ponton
17:38 07 Feb 24
I tried to get others to help me with this claim, and it wasn"t until I hired Mr. Stephens that things started happening. I would recommend any one to get in touch with him . I would go to him again, if i ever needed to.
Judy LeonardJudy Leonard
22:26 06 Feb 24
I very much appreciate the successful litigation concerning my husband's Hanford work related illness. Stephens & Stephens LLP were thorough, caring, considerate, and fair during this difficult time.
Kenneth GKenneth G
18:23 03 Feb 24
Mr. Stephens was able to simplify an otherwise complicated lengthy process (DEEOIC) to file an initial claim as well as a claim for impairment benefits.
18:08 03 Feb 24
Frankie KnucFrankie Knuc
19:24 08 Jan 24
I had other attorneys hired in Cortez, Colorado and Grand Jct., Colorado to assist me with receiving my uranium claim, but they were not successful. I was advised by an employee of CNS of Stephens & Stephens, LLP good work. I contacted them & they took my case It was settled very quickly. I have been very pleased with this group & would advise others of their prompt service. I would recommend them to others. Respectfully, Frankie Knuckles
Rebecca ConsolRebecca Consol
19:57 22 Dec 23
My family used Stephen’s and Stephen’s for a settlement case. We were extremely pleased with all they did. They were very professional, easy to get a hold of, and invaluable when it came to answering questions and handling complicated Department of Labor issues and forms. They also did everything in a very timely manner. I have already recommended them to other people.
Thomas CliffordThomas Clifford
15:29 21 Dec 23
I have been represented by Hugh Stevens for several years now, He and his staff has made everything so easy for me. I had lung cancer from working in the uranium processing industry, they have opened so many doors for me and made dealing with DOL so much easier. They always answer my questions in a very timely manner. I have referred several other people to him and he has been able to get them through this process also. There are benefits that I was not aware of that he has brought to my attention and been able to lead me through the process of obtaining them. I would most highly recommend him to lead anyone through this process.
Lonnie killingHawkLonnie killingHawk
02:35 14 Dec 23
When I first contacted Stephens & Stephens I was at the end of my rope with DOL. Hough and his staff got me on track and handled everything with DOL and just made this process so easy. Do not know where I'd be with out them. They are able to communicate at a layman's level and understand the client. Would strongly recommend this firm.
Ruthy LyonRuthy Lyon
21:00 28 Sep 23
Our initial conversation with Mr. Stephens was productive & reassuring. His previous experience with similar cases was obvious and very helpful, in both asking us specific questions for clarification & also addressing our own questions. Breanna is also a great asset to their team.
James O'DayJames O'Day
15:07 13 Sep 23
I have referred several friends to Hugh Stephens and they were more satisfied than they ever expected. I would refer him with confidence to anyone in need. I trust when he speaks for me, for example, in court. He is a good communicator and a deep thinker. He is well respected in his profession. He handles environmental law, injury law, and medical malpractice. He is tactful and direct and knows what he is doing. He knows the legal briar patches well.

EEOICPA Covered Facilities: Project Gnome Nuclear Explosion Site

The EEOICPA was passed in 2000. It provides compensation to workers who became ill as a result of their employment manufacturing nuclear weapons in the USA, as well as their spouses, children, and grandchildren. Project Gnome Nuclear Explosion Site EEOICPA coverage is available for qualified former Workers and their families.

Are you eligible for compensation? If you or a family member worked at this or another DOE facility and became ill, you may be entitled to compensation of up to $400K plus medical benefits. Call EEOICPA Counsel Hugh Stephens at 1-855-548-4494 or fill out our free claim evaluation, We can help even if you’ve already filed, even if your claim was denied!

Here, we have compiled publicly available information and documentation about the facilities covered by the Act to clarify how their activities relate to the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act.

Project Gnome Nuclear Explosion Site

Also Known As: Gnome
State: New Mexico
Location: Carlsbad
Time Period: 1960-1962
Facility Type: Department of Energy

Facility Description: The Project Gnome Test site was the location of one of the nuclear test explosions conducted as part of the part of the AEC’s Plowshare program, which was initiated in 1957 to develop peaceful (industrial and scientific) applications for nuclear explosives. Shaft excavation began July 1, 1960. In December 10, 1961, Shot Gnome, a 3kiloton yield nuclear device, was detonated in an underground shaft to identify the effects and products of an underground nuclear explosion in a salt medium. The shot vented some radioactivity into the atmosphere. Reentry activities were completed in June 1962.

Project Gnome Nuclear Explosion Site Explosion Site is listed as a Department of Energy (DOE) site under the EEOICPA.

As of 05/10/2015, the total compensation paid under Parts B and E of the EEOICPA, including medical compensation, for workers suffering from the effects of having worked at the Project Gnome Nuclear Explosion Site Explosion Site is $3,028,369.

*Site Description and History :

The Gnome-Coach site encompasses approximately 680 acres in southern Eddy County, New Mexico, about 9 miles east of the Pecos River and 25 miles southeast of the city of Carlsbad. The land is currently withdrawn from all forms of appropriation associated with mining and leasing laws.

On December 10, 1961, a 3-kiloton-yield nuclear explosive was detonated at a depth of 1,184 feet below ground surface within the Salado Formation, a thick, bedded salt deposit. Project Gnome was the first nuclear test conducted in the Plowshare Program, a research and development program created by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), a predecessor agency to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The purpose of the program was to determine the technical and economic feasibility of peaceful applications of nuclear explosives.

The Gnome test was a multipurpose experiment designed to provide data concerning heat generated from a nuclear explosion, isotope production, neutron physics, seismic measurements in a salt medium, and to provide design data for developing nuclear devices specifically for peaceful uses. In preparation for the Gnome test, a 10-foot-diameter vertical emplacement shaft was drilled to a depth of 1,216 feet below ground surface. A horizontal tunnel was drilled 1,116 feet northeast from the shaft, ending in a hook shape designed to be self-sealing.

The Gnome detonation created a cavity approximately 160 feet in diameter and melted about 3,150 tons of rock. The melted rock mixed with approximately 11,415 tons of salt that was propelled into the cavity by steam pressure produced from water in the rock. Most of the nongaseous radioactive residue was trapped in the mixture of rubble and once-molten salt at the bottom of the chamber. Although it had been planned as a contained explosion, a portion of the gases produced by the Gnome detonation vented radioactive materials into the atmosphere through the vertical emplacement shaft southwest of the cavity. A second test, Coach, was to be located within the Salado Formation near the Gnome test location and was scheduled for 1963. The Coach test was canceled, but the site is referred to as the Gnome-Coach site. No additional underground nuclear detonations occurred at the Gnome-Coach site; however, in 1963, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) conducted a groundwater tracer test using four dissolved radionuclides–tritium, iodine-131, strontium-90, and cesium 137– as tracers. These isotopes were injected into groundwater of the Culebra Dolomite Member of the Rustler Formation. The Culebra is about 30 feet thick in the site area; the base of the Culebra is about 490 feet below land surface and about 690 feet above the detonation cavity. Post-test activities included drilling into the test cavity from locations directly over the cavity as well as reentry through the shaft and horizontal tunnel following removal of rubble and solidified melt. Five months after the blast, personnel physically entered the test cavity through the tunnel to directly observe the cavity interior and obtain photographic documentation of the cavity size and shape.


Surface Conditions:
Post-test drilling and removal of contaminated subsurface material resulted in surface contamination at the Gnome-Coach site. The original cleanup associated with the site was conducted between 1968 and 1969. During this phase, radioactive sludge from holding tanks Cross Seand liquid from evaporation ponds were pumped into the test cavity, contaminated equipment and solid waste were disposed of in the emplacement shaft, all salvageable equipment was decontaminated, all uncontaminated buildings and equipment were moved offsite, and all AEC test wells and drill holes were plugged and abandoned (except those retained for long-term hydrologic monitoring).

In 1972, an area reconnaissance revealed that the cover material on the salt disposal pile that remained from drilling operations was eroding, exposing material contaminated from the reentry operations, and surface contamination associated with the salt disposal pile was spreading. The second major cleanup from 1977 to 1979 included excavating contaminated soils and burying them in the shaft, removing concrete pads, performing general housekeeping activities, and conducting extensive post-cleanup sampling. During these operations, the test cavity and horizontal tunnel were filled to capacity, and remaining contaminated material was removed and transported to the Nevada National Security Site (then known as the Nevada Test Site).

In 2002, the DOE Office of Environmental Management completed a corrective action investigation of the Gnome-Coach site surface area. These studies included sampling and surveying surface and shallow subsurface soils to a depth of 20 feet below ground surface. Although elevated levels of radiological contamination were identified in several areas, the concentrations did not exceed risk-based cleanup levels. Approximately 18 cubic yards of soil contaminated with diesel fuel at levels that exceeded the New Mexico Environment Department cleanup standard were removed during supplemental field activities in 2003. Investigation activities and a summary of the results are documented in a Completion Report that was prepared in accordance with the New Mexico Environment Department Voluntary Remediation Program.

A permanent monument consisting of two brass plaques mounted in a concrete base was placed directly above the underground nuclear detonation cavity. Wording on one plaque describes the historical significance of the project, and wording on the second plaque describes restrictions on excavation and drilling in the area.

Subsurface Conditions:
DOE conducts annual monitoring of the subsurface by collecting groundwater samples and monitoring water levels in the five monitoring wells onsite. The groundwater samples are analyzed for the detonation-related and tracer-test-related contaminants tritium, cesium-137, and strontium-90. The wells onsite monitor the detonation-related radionuclides and shaft in the Salado Formation and groundwater in the Culebra Dolomite Member of the Rustler Formation, which was the zone in which USGS conducted the tracer test. The Salado Formation is a 2,500-foot-thick bed of halite that is virtually impermeable due to the plastic nature under pressure. The Culebra Dolomite is a widespread, laterally continuous, fractured carbonate aquifer. Although groundwater within the Culebra is of poor quality because of high concentrations of dissolved solids, it is a source of water for ranchers who maintain livestock throughout the area. DOE continues to conduct investigations to obtain data that will enhance the monitoring of the subsurface.

Long-Term Hydrologic Monitoring Program:
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency monitored groundwater quality at and near the Gnome-Coach site annually from 1972 until 2008 as part of its Long-Term Hydrologic Monitoring Program. Samples were historically collected from 10 wells and 2 municipal water supplies offsite. Since the program’s inception, analytical results using conventional analytical methods have detected no radionuclides related to the underground nuclear test or tracer test in any of the samples collected from the offsite locations. In 2009, DOE’s Office of Legacy Management (LM) assumed responsibility for groundwater monitoring at the site. After reviewing historical data, LM refined the monitoring network for the site, and current efforts focus on monitoring the onsite wells.

Land Use:
The designated surface use of the Gnome-Coach site is for grazing. Principal land use in the area is livestock grazing, oil and gas exploration and production, and recreation. Although active oil and gas leases exist for the land surrounding the Gnome-Coach site, oil and gas leases are not permitted on the site.

Institutional Controls:
The Gnome-Coach site and surrounding land were withdrawn from the public domain on October 26, 1961. All of Section 34 and part of Section 10, Township 23 South, Range 30 East, New Mexico Principal Meridian were transferred from the U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to AEC for the Gnome and Coach experiments. BLM maintains the surface rights of the withdrawn lands. Restrictions for the ground surface (0 to 20 feet below ground surface) are documented in the Conditional Certificate of Completion provided by the New Mexico Environment Department in accordance with their Voluntary Remediation Program regulations. The surface restrictions include no excavation within 40 lateral feet of the concrete cap that protects the emplacement shaft. Current subsurface restrictions are stated on the monument placed at the site. As an added layer of protection, LM is working with BLM to include restrictions for the subsurface of Section 34 in BLM’s Resource Management Plan. The former shaft, horizontal tunnel, and Project Gnome monument are all located within Section 34.


Project Gnome Nuclear Explosion Site Explosion Site Workers:
If you or your parent worked at this or any other DOE or AWE facility and became ill, you may be entitled to compensation of up to $400K plus medical benefits from the US Department of Labor. Call EEOICPA Counsel Hugh Stephens at 1-855-EEOICPA (336-4272) or fill out the form to the right, whether or not you have already filed a claim and even if your claim has been accepted or denied.

We can help with all OWCP (Federal Workers Compensation) claims, impairments, wage loss and health care. 2495 Main Street, Suite 442, Buffalo, NY 14214.