Idaho is moving immediately to take part in a three-state program for people who may have been affected by radiation from the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington.
Gov. Cecil Andrus said Tuesday he directed officials to contact Oregon and Washington officials "to begin the dialog necessary" to set up a three-state joint project.Idaho's program is to be headed by David Humphrey, deputy director of the Department of Health and Welfare and chief of the state committee checking on Department of Energy and Idaho National Engineering Laboratory operations.
The second step, the governor said, is to identity "the most critical needs of the affected population" and how those needs can be met.
Public meetings will be scheduled in northern Idaho to identify the problems, the governor said.
The National Defense Authorization Act approved $5 million for health advice and medical referrals for citizens of the three states who might have been affected by past Hanford radiation releases. But no money was appropriated.
Andrus said he has contacted Energy Secretary James Watkins to either divert money from other programs, or to ask Congress for funding in the next session.