Judge rejects federal challenge to Hanford workers comp law

YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) — A federal judge in Yakima has rejected the Trump administration’s challenge to a Washington state law making it easier for former workers at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation to win workers compensation benefits.

The Legislature last year passed a law that says some cancers and other illnesses among the workers are assumed to have been caused by chemical or radiological exposures at work. That makes it easier for them to win their claims.

The U.S. government sued the state, saying the measure was overridden by federal law. U.S. District Judge Stanley Bastian disagreed on Thursday, saying Congress had authorized some states to regulate workers compensation on federal land.

Hanford was created during World War II and made plutonium for nuclear weapons. It’s now the site of a massive cleanup.