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Public Statements

National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2006

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC


NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR FISCAL YEAR 2006 -- (House of Representatives - May 25, 2005)

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AMENDMENT NO. 22 OFFERED BY MR. MATHESON

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Mr. MATHESON. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of this en bloc amendment to the Defense bill.

I have offered an amendment to the bill that would require the Department of Defense to preserve irreplaceable historical records related to radioactive fallout, and I am pleased this amendment was ruled in order and is part of this en bloc amendment.

Now currently the Department of Energy has ordered a moratorium on the destruction of such records, but the Department of Defense has no such prohibition and relevant records could potentially be lost.

The National Academy of Sciences has pointed out that both the Navy and the Air Force have important documents that should be archived.

As a result, the National Academy urged Congress to require better preservation of historical data related to radioactive fallout records.

That is exactly what this amendment does.

My amendment prohibits the Department of Defense from destroying these historical records and directs the Department to identify, preserve, and publish information contained in these records.

Atmospheric testing was a dark period in our history for many Americans. We should do whatever we can to preserve the limited records from that time so they remain viable for scientific study. With this amendment we are taking a good first step toward preserving history.

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