- Associated Press - Friday, April 21, 2017

RICHLAND, Wash. (AP) - Parties in a federal lawsuit seeking better protection from chemical vapors for Hanford workers met with a mediator in Seattle.

The Tri-City Herald reports (https://goo.gl/qs1xXt ) the Thursday meeting marked the first round of mediation in the state of Washington, Hanford Challenge, and Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 598 suit against the Department of Energy and its tank farm contractor, Washington River Protection Solutions.

Plaintiffs in the suit, which was filed in September 2015, say workers have developed serious respiratory and neurological illnesses after exposure to chemical vapors associated with waste held in underground tanks at the Hanford nuclear reservation.

In February, U.S. Judge Thomas Rice agreed to postpone the trial until March 2018 to allow for mediation and possible settlement.

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Information from: Tri-City Herald, https://www.tri-cityherald.com

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