By Frank Lewis
The United States Senate Appropriations Committee announced the short-term continuing resolution to fund the government through Dec. 11 will allow the Department of Energy to continue cleanup projects, including decontamination and decommissioning (D&D) operations at Piketon, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (OH-D) says the decision is welcome news to southern Ohio.
“It is good news for the Piketon community and workers at the plant that the Senate Appropriations Committee is doing right by workers at Piketon,” Brown said. “Continuing D&D operations at Piketon is vital to southeast Ohio’s economy and to local jobs. This flexibility will ensure that the plant can continue making progress on its cleanup efforts. I will continue to work with appropriators to ensure that Piketon is fully funded come December.”
Since WARN notices were issued at the Piketon plant, Brown said he has continued his push to find funding for the project. Last month, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) – which oversees D&D projects – announced that a budget shortfall in fiscal year 2016 appropriations for the project at Piketon will result in layoffs at the facility. Brown immediately sent a letter to leaders of the Senate Appropriations Committee requesting that funds be appropriated to continue the current pace of D&D efforts at Portsmouth for the entire 2016 fiscal year – either through the direct appropriation of $275 million or through another year-long budget anomaly.
Brown has also spoken to and written U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz and Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Shaun Donovan urging continued investment in the decontamination and decommissioning of the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Piketon.
In addition Brown has repeatedly called on the Obama Administration and Senate Appropriators to fully fund the continued operation of the American Centrifuge Project.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.