Today, Reps. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Peter King (R-NY)-- the House sponsors of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act-- sent a letter to Dr. John Howard, Director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), requesting a public meeting in New York City to answer questions about how the new law will be implemented.
"The provisions in the law are complex, and deserve explanation to those who might qualify. While many of the regulations are not due for some months, we believe a public meeting will help clear the air as to the process under which the new law will be implemented.
"We're sure that Dr. Howard and his team will be willing to conduct a public meeting in NYC since in his role as NIOSH Director, he is also the World Trade Center Administrator and is working closely with Health and Human Services to write regulations and design the implementation process.
"As the bill's House sponsors, we look forward to working with NIOSH and HHS to make sure the law is implemented well and that the heroes of 9/11 have a strong, effective program that best suits their needs."
Under the new law, signed by President Obama at the start of the year, NIOSH is charged with carrying out the World Trade Center Health Programs. These programs provide first responders and survivors with medical monitoring and treatment for those injuries and illnesses that resulted from toxic exposures at ground zero.
John Howard, MD
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
395 E Street SW, Suite 9200
Patriots Plaza Building
Washington, DC 20201
Dear Dr. Howard:
As the primary sponsors of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act in the U.S. House of Representatives, we were pleased the bill passed the 111th Congress and was signed into law by President Obama on January 2nd. We know implementing Title I of this new law will require considerable efforts by the Department of Health and Human Services as a whole, as well as by Secretary Sebelius and you personally. We recently met with the Secretary to share some of our concerns as the implementation process begins and to offer our support for her and the Department.
Since enactment, several responders and survivors have contacted our offices with questions and concerns regarding the implementation of the Act. Although regulations required under Title I of the Act are not due for several months, we request that you, as WTC Administrator, hold a public meeting in New York City to address some of these questions and concerns, and to explain how the Department plans to conduct the implementation process.
We look forward to working with you on the implementation of this important law, and hope you will be conducting a public meeting in New York City soon.
CAROLYN B. MALONEY
PETER T. KING