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EEOICPA & RECA Attorneys

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.

West Valley – Site History – EEOICPA – SEC Petition

West Valley Demonstration Project

West Valley Environmental Services
West Valley Nuclear Services (WVNS)
West Valley Demonstration Project
West Valley Reprocessing Plant
Nuclear Fuel Services (NFS)
New York Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) (title owner)

All the above names refer to a 3345 acre parcel of land in the Town of Ashford, New York, County of Cattaraugus, where a plant was established in the early 1960s for the reprocessing of used nuclear fuel.  The plant was built on 200 acres of land about in the center of the parcel.  The plant area and another 100 acres of storage area was surrounded by an eight foot high security fence.

Time of Operation:  The West Valley Reprocessing Plant was operated from 1966 to  1972.  Although the reprocessing was shut down in March 1972 for improvements to increase capacity, spent light-water waste fuel assemblies were shipped to West Valley between 1973 and 1975 in anticipation of reprocessing.  Management of the facility was transferred to New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) in 1977.  Return of unreprocessed spent nuclear fuel assemblies occurred in the early 1980s.  Decontamination activities took place in the 1980s and early 1990s, and vitrification began in 1996 and continued until 2001 producing 275 10-foot tall stainless steel canisters of hardened radioactive glass.  In 1999 Vitrification of Expanded Materials Processing began processing unserviceable equipment at the site.

Location:  West Valley is located in Western New York State in the northernmost part of Cattaraugus County adjacent to Cattaraugus Creek, which flows north along the Seneca Nation tribal land and empties into Lake Erie.  It is 35 miles South of Buffalo, New York [see map]
The address is 10282 Rock Springs Road, West Valley, New York.  Rock Springs Road runs off of Route 219 to the east.

Materials Processed:  During reprocessing operations (1966-1972) 660,000 gallons of highly radioactive liquid waste was generated that was stored in an underground waste tank.  Also stored at the site are 170 tons of used nuclear fuel assemblies, 140,000 cubic feet of solid waste, and 2.4 million cubic feet of buried low-level radioactively contaminated waste.  There was a separate designated 15-acre area for the disposal of radioactive waste from commercial generators and another 7-acre landfill for radioactive waste generated from reprocessing.

Workers:  The plant employed a permanent work force of less than 200 persons during operations; however, contract employees had to be brought in once the regular employees reached their quarterly dose limits.  These were estimated in an insurance survey to be about 1,000 temporary laborers each year.

Department of Energy Involvement:  On October 1, 1980, Congress passed the West Valley Demonstration Project Act (WVDPA) which directed the Secretary of Energy to prepare radioactive waste for disposal at West Valley (PL 96-368).  Since at least that date, West Valley workers meet the required relationship with Department of Energy under the EEOICPA.  Prior thereto and back to June 3, 1965, substantial quantities of radioactive liquid waste was received at West Valley from Department of Energy reactors (630 tons from 1966 to 1972).  Thus, it would appear beyond contravention that from as early as 1965, West Valley was a facility that performed operations for the Department of Energy as encompassed by the EEOICPA.   (42 U.S.C. § 7384l (12)).

Exposures:  Instead of making maximum efforts to maintain low levels of exposure consistent with “commonly accepted” radiation protection practice, the radiation control program at West Valley was designed to remove at-risk employees from the site when they approached the maximum allowable exposure limit for each quarter.  Adopting this approach in an “extreme radiological environment” (see below) put the workers at extreme risk.  AEC criticized NFS for this approach in a March 1972 letter.  (Site Profile page 23).

The site profile states:
Users of this site profile should bear in mind the West Valley reprocessing plant was an extreme radiological environment throughout the operations era.  Fuel segmentation operations resulted in substantial quantities of high specific activity airborne particulate matter, resulting in significant operational difficulties associated with the plant ventilation systems and airflow issues.  This, coupled with other unforeseen circumstances involving radioactivity in systems where it was not anticipated, or at unacceptable levels, meant radiological conditions encumbered operation of the facility from the outset.  Routine, contact maintenance activities had to be performed in high dose rate environments.  Dose rates in normally occupied areas were also high, and radiological contamination was substantial plant-wide from maintenance activities and spills (see Attachment A of the Site Profile for details).  High backgrounds compromised the effectiveness of contamination control measurements [1].  Site Profile page 22.

Amendment A of the site profile details that an inspection by the plant housekeeping committee on January 27, 1967, found the plant to be in a “deplorable condition” with regard to radiological exposures just seven months after it began to receive materials.  (paragraph 31.1.1)

The Radiation Protection Program at West Valley defined contamination areas using a “zone” system using an escalating system of four zones requiring more stringent controls as the zone level increased.

Given the “deplorable condition” of the plant and “extreme radiological environment throughout the operations area” (Site Profile page 22), dose reconstruction would seem to be an Alice in Wonderland exercise.  It is anticipated that Special Exposure Cohort status will be applied for and eventually approved to deal with this vexing problem at West Valley.

Materials Processed: Processing began on April 22, 1966.  It was divided into twenty-eight (28) campaigns, the first three of which involved Hanford N Reactor.  The plant used the plutonium-uranium extraction (PUREX) process; one thorium campaign was processed between November 1968 and January 1969.  Six hundred thirty (630) tons of fuel from nine different reactors was processed.  In March 1972 the reprocessing plan was shut down.  This was thought at the time to be temporary.  From 1973 to 1975, seven hundred fifty-six (756) spent light water reactor fuel assemblies were shipped to West Valley and placed in the Storage Pool and of the 3345 acre parcel, 200 acres in about the center compromised the reprocessing facility of a 300-acre portion surrounded by an 8-foot security fence.  The secure area contained the reprocessing facility and the storage area.

Contamination and Soil:  Low level radiation in the soil is leaking into Cattaraugus Creek which empties into Lake Erie some distance north.  Remediation efforts are under way to filter groundwater on site at significant expense.

The cancers already found to be caused by radiation from the West Valley site are likely the tip of the iceberg which will be further revealed over the next decades.