U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) toured the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Piketon, Ohio and met with local union representatives and Piketon leadership. Portman has led efforts in the U.S. Senate to secure funding for the Piketon facility, ensure the decontamination and decommissioning work continues, and protect these jobs. Today he received an update on the work being done at the site and discuss how he can continue to help.
“The Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant is Piketon’s biggest employer, and many here in Piketon, like those I met with today, have worked for decades to provide our military and our energy sector with critical natural resources. The cleanup and redevelopment of this plant is critical for jobs, economic development, and the future of southern Ohio,” Portman said. “I’m proud to have secured funding for this plant and its workers, but it is critical that we develop a long-term funding stream and plan for this site because that will ultimately save taxpayer dollars and provide more stability for the people of Pike County. I will continue to work with my colleagues and the new administration to advocate for the work happening at the facility as well as its capabilities, and the role it could continue to play in our national security.”
Scioto County Commissioner Bryan Davis commented on the importance of such visits and continued support of the plant by saying, “[I]t is essential that DOE finds a way to keep funding going to get the site cleaned up efficiently so it can be used for industry again. The amount of vital infrastructure out there is incredible. There really are few places in the world with the infrastructure that is represented at Piketon. At the same time, I hope DOE will be willing to look at other proposals by local groups for re-industrialization.”
Earlier this year, Portman invited Secretary of Energy Rick Perry to come to Piketon to see firsthand the decontamination and decommissioning operations. During his confirmation hearing, Secretary Perry committed to Portman that he would visit the plant. Last year, Portman secured funding to provide the Department of Energy with the necessary funding to avoid disruption of the clean-up activities at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant. Previously, Portman grilled former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz for his department’s failure to use funding provided by Congress and therefore causing layoffs in Piketon and he repeatedly called on the Obama Administration to uphold their promises to the Piketon community to provide adequate funding to avoid layoffs.