Mike Crabtree challenges Billy Spencer

Crabtree emails Spencer about DOE site

By Frank Lewis - flewis@civitasmedia.com

“Where the hell were you from 2010 to 2014 when us, God and all his cousins commented on the cell … ?,” is part of an email from Scioto County Commissioner Mike Crabtree to Piketon Mayor Billy Spencer.

Crabtree is asking Spencer where he has been throughout the process of making progress at the waste disposal cell on the Department of Energy (DOE) site at Piketon.

The correspondence was sent to Spencer this past week. It was in response to a story in the Daily Times in which Spencer said the DOE is not communicating with him and he has concerns over the safety of the land, which is supposed to be re-utilized for industrial in the future.

In the story, Spencer told the Times he can’t get a commitment from the Department of Energy that they will completely decontaminate the Piketon site so that the land can be used in the future for re-industrialization, so he asked for a 60-day extension from DOE on the comment period for the draft environmental assessment: Conveyance of Real property at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant.

“We actually started this process last June (2016) with a resolution, and to this day we still haven’t heard a response,” Spencer said. “Here’s what we’re asking for. If there’s a chance to have this site cleaned up for industrialized use, that they clean up the existing landfills on the site, that you dig up and clean the underground plumes that are contaminated and, if you don’t do that, we don’t believe for a second that any company or anybody is going to come in here and reuse this land that is contaminated with a landfill that is already there.”

Within days that extension was granted, but now comes an email from Crabtree to Spencer that pulls no punches.

Crabtree begins the email by thanking Spencer for his many years of service at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant. He goes on to commend Spencer for his years of service as mayor of Piketon. However, quickly after complementing him, Crabtree immediately got to the point.

“’You-know-what’ flows downstream so me and my family have a personal interest as well as the interest of the citizens of Scioto County,” Crabtree said. “I have read your recent comments in the various papers referring to the cell as a ‘nuclear dump’ and that you don’t know enough about it and you want to spend all kinds of money on a study that will only delay the progress and cost more money that could be going to other projects that actually bring jobs here.”

Crabtree continued his criticism of Spencer.

“I have been told that your council member, Jennifer Chandler (who happened to work on the proposed plans as an employee of FBP) made all kinds of accusations against the safety of the cell in attempts to get DOE to send money to the Village of Piketon, then had the nerve to ask the Watchman (Pike County Newspaper), who was present, not to report on it,” Crabtree said. “Where I come from that’s called biting the hand that feeds you and borderline extortion.”

Crabtree went on to suggest Spencer and the members of the Piketon Village Council “become team players” and encourage progress and forward movement on the cell. He tells Spencer to “stop showboating that draws negative attention to your village and jeopardizes the funding that supports 2000 workers from our area.”

The Times attempted to reach Spencer for comment Monday and Tuesday, but our calls were not returned.

Crabtree emails Spencer about DOE site

By Frank Lewis


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.