DOE gives $3 million to monitor Piketon cleanup

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced today it has awarded a grant of approximately $3 million to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) to support ongoing oversight and monitoring of the environmental cleanup at the former Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant Site in Piketon, Ohio.

The Portsmouth/Paducah Project Office of DOE Environmental Management (EM) will administer the new grant over a five-year period that will end on June 30, 2021. The anticipated annual funding during that time period will be up to approximately $616,000. The grant will support ongoing activities funded under a previous grant that expired on June 30.

The financial assistance helps the State of Ohio recover costs and supports a framework for successful cooperation between DOE, the U.S. EPA, and Ohio EPA in addressing environmental impacts associated with past and present activities at the site. Numerous activities will continue as they pertain to environmental requirements, regulatory orders, agreements, and relevant sampling and investigational work plans pertaining to ongoing site decontamination and decommissioning actions, and environmental restorations and cleanup projects. That includes providing information on preferred regulatory and technical approaches to ongoing cleanup and related decisions, including future site uses.

Environmental sampling data at the Department of Energy’s Portsmouth Site is now accessible to the public through an enhanced geographic mapping tool on the Internet.

The tool offers access to information such as publicly available environmental documents, and groundwater-level and analytical data.

The Portsmouth/Paducah Project Office (PPPO) Environmental Geographic Analytical Spatial Information System (PEGASIS) features an external GIS (Geographic Information System) and analytical data viewer that provides easy access to environmental data.

The EM cleanup at the site commenced in 1989, and the plant ceased gaseous diffusion enrichment operations in 2001.

In May it was announced the decontamination and decommissioning work at the former Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant was again funded to the tune of $40 million more than last year, in appropriations found in Water Appropriations legislation.

U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) annmounced at that time the Senate had passed new funding for the cleanup project. The funding supposedly maintains current employment levels for the D&D work at the Portsmouth Plant.

By Frank Lewis

[email protected]

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

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