Site Specific Advisory Board at Piketon withdraws support for on-site disposal cell

By Frank Lewis

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Will Henderson, chairman of the Portsmouth Site Specific Advisory Board, has rescinded their support for the on-site disposal cell at the Piketon site until the Department of Energy makes a regulatory commitment to landfill consolidation and exhumation of the ground-water plumes.

“Before, we had passed Recommendation 13-02 to the Department of Energy and it outlined what the criteria were from a community standpoint to receive support for an on-site disposal cell,” Henderson told the Daily Times. “They did not meet all of the requirements and whenever the Record of Decision came out and the language was really wishy-washy and non-commital in nature, we had discussions all the way up to the headquarters level and they’re just not interested in going ahead and making a firm, regulatory commitment to southern Ohio to go ahead and do the landfill consolidation and the exhumation of the ground-water plumes. So, since they’re not willing to do that, that leaves the site out at Piketon looking like swiss cheese and completely unavailable for industrial redevelopment.”

The passage of the recommendation is the result of a meeting in which the board decided it will take no step forward until they receive a regulatory commitment.

The board’s position was in line with community sentiment and supported on-site disposal of some D&D waste only if DOE could explicitly meet six conditions including that there be no waste from off-site locations; the consolidation of landfills within perimeter Road; the consolidation of plumes within Perimeter Road; a concerted effort to recover and recycle nickel with the understanding the nickel barrier material was prohibited from on-site disposal; the prohibition of any DUF6 material in any of its forms into the on-site disposal cell and that there be a Department of Energy land use plan on par with the one completed for the Miamisburg Mound facility.

The SSAB recommendation is that they withdraw support for on-site disposal under the current conditions and that they recommend DOE modify the Record of Decision to strengthen DOE commitments that are required by the community for support of on-site waste disposal.

The recommendation goes on to say the Portsmouth SSAB does not object to DOE’s plan for D&D of the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant, only the lack of commitment from DOE to complete the project in a manner that will foster future development.

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