Portsmouth/Paducah EM sites cut costs by $16.8 million


By Frank Lewis - flewis@civitasmedia.com



Environmental Man agreement sites reduced operating costs by more than $100 million in fiscal year (FY) 2016, responding to a challenge from EM leadership to free more funding for cleanup. Ranking third in reducing costs was the Portsmouth/Paducah Project office at $16.8 million.

The Savannah River Operations Office realized more than $34.1 million in cost reductions, followed by the Richland Operations Office (RL) with more than $31.6 million. Then came the Portsmouth/Paducah Project Office followed by the Office of River Protection (ORP) with more than $12.7 million, Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management (OREM) with $5.4 million and Idaho Site with over $4 million.

“Reducing our costs by more than $100 million is a tremendous accomplishment and we are going to continue to look for ways to work smarter and identify further savings in fiscal year 2017,” EM Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Sue Cange said.

EM sites achieved cost reductions through a variety of strategies, including contract consolidation, changes in contract vehicles, use of new technology, infrastructure and utility upgrades, new regulatory strategies and increased capacity of disposal facilities.

The Portsmouth and Paducah sites achieved cost savings by optimizing utilities and infrastructure. Portsmouth upgraded its electric power distribution and sanitary water systems, and initiated a new contract for natural gas supply. Paducah changed its power distribution, shutting down six main transformers, saving $642,000 annually. Paducah replaced roofs on five buildings to reduce surveillance and maintenance costs by $500,000. The site’s steam supply system also realized $500,000 in maintenance and other savings by having its large, coal-fired boilers replaced with smaller, modular gas boilers.

“A key part of our mission is being efficient in our execution and I am proud of our sites for identifying savings that can be reinvested in our cleanup programs,” Cange said.

The Environmental Management Program at the Portsmouth Site began in 1989. The same year, DOE signed a U.S. District Court Consent Decree and an Administrative Consent Order with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to address the environmental legacy of past operations. Ohio EPA provides day-to-day oversight of cleanup.

By Frank Lewis

flewis@civitasmedia.com

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.