NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Senator Ben Ray Lujan continues to call attention to the New Mexicans impacted by the first atomic bomb test. The New Mexico democrat published an op-ed on CNN’s website pressing Congress to strengthen the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act.

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He says radioactive fallout from the 1945 test at Trinity Site reached residents in Tularosa some 25 miles away. However, the Tularosa Downwinders are not covered by the RECA. Neither are many uranium mine workers affected by the radiation.

A bill sponsored by Lujan and Idaho Republican Mike Crapo would make those New Mexicans eligible for compensation, along with others in Colorado, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Montana, and Guam. The RECA Act as it stands was extended by congress through May 2024. The president must still sign it.