Hawley Announces New Legislation to Compensate Victims of Nuclear Waste in St. Louis Area

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Today U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) announced new legislation to create a fund for the victims of radioactive contamination in the St. Louis region. His announcement followed a disturbing new report that details how the federal government and companies responsible for Manhattan Project waste in the region “were aware of health risks, spills, improperly stored contaminants and other problems but often ignored them.”

“The people of St. Louis have borne the burden of [the Manhattan Project] — and now it’s time for their government to make it right. What needs to happen is this: The federal government needs to pay the medical bills for any St. Louis resident who has contracted cancer or an autoimmune virus or a genetic disorder because of exposure to radioactive contamination,” said Senator Hawley.

He continued, “I will introduce legislation that will provide this support, that will provide this justice to the people of St. Louis. […] This is not a handout to the people of St. Louis. They’re not asking for a giveaway. They’re asking for some basic fairness. When their government imposes on them diseases and disaster because of nuclear contamination, the least their government can do is to make it right. And I will come to this floor as long as it takes until we make it right for the men and women and children of St. Louis.”

Click here or above for full remarks.


Senator Hawley has consistently advocated on behalf of the Coldwater Creek community. Most recently, Senator Hawley’s legislation mandating the clean up of Jana Elementary School in the Hazelwood School District and radioactive waste testing passed the U.S. Senate. Biden’s Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm also vowed to support it.

In March, Senator Hawley delivered remarks on the Senate floor and attempted to unanimously pass his legislation to clean up Jana Elementary School and test the surrounding buildings in the Hazelwood School District, but it was blocked.

In early March, Senator Hawley called out the Biden Administration for its lack of action on the Jana Elementary School cleanup.

In February, Senator Hawley introduced the Justice for Jana Elementary Act following an Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing where he pushed the DOE for answers on the radioactive waste found at the school.

In January, Senator Hawley and Congresswoman Cori Bush sent a letter to USACE Lieutenant General Spellmon calling for additional radioactive testing of Hazelwood School District’s properties.

Last October, Senator Hawley demanded that USACE conduct radioactive testing at Jana Elementary School following reports of contamination, and called on President Biden to declare a federal emergency and make aid available for students and families.