I am writing this letter to express my concern about the recent comments made by Scioto County Commissioner Mike Crabtree related to the Village of Piketon hosting a nuclear waste landfill. I must say that in all the years I have served on council I have never seen another elected official be attacked in such a manner by another elected official. Since you chose to communicate with us through the media,
I felt a responsibility to the citizens of my community to respond to you this way.
I read the article that was published, and the better question should be where has DOE been in reference to the Village of Piketon. Our Village has not seen a DOE official until 2016, where they admitted they should have come to us about these matters with the plant since our town is directly impacted by this nuclear waste landfill. Commissioner Crabtree has asserted that the Village of Piketon is late to the game in providing comments to the DOE about the disposition of the PORTS facility and its plan to build a nuclear waste landfill. He should know that the Mayor and I, as well as other members of Village Council, expressed concerns as early as 2010 when the issue of a nuclear waste landfill was being considered in Piketon.
The health and safety of all the citizens of southern Ohio is my top priority. I would like to address your concerns with the “study”, which is known as a third party assessment. Commissioner Crabtree, did you review the 2,400+ page document called Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study? I am sure you would struggle to understand this information, as do I. That is why the Village of Piketon felt it was necessary to have this document reviewed by a third party to ensure our citizens and neighbors like you downstream are guaranteed we have a true cleanup for reindustrialization for jobs now and in the future. These third party assessments have been conducted all over the country and ours has been publicly supported by FBP’s Project Manager Dennis Carr, DOE, and our senators Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown. The Village of Piketon does not put a dollar value on the health, safety and welfare of its citizens. A 60 day extension is a short investment of time to review the impacts to the Village of Piketon.
As the community most impacted by DOE’s environmental decisions, the Village of Piketon has a moral obligation to make sure the impacts of these decisions are fully understood. We will not support moving forward until all important questions are answered and the subsequent decisions are in the best interest of our citizens, citizens frankly who have more to lose than everyone else. No community should have to choose between jobs and the health, safety and welfare of its community. The Village of Piketon supports the cleanup of the PORTS facility provided that it is done in manner that is protective of our citizens and workers and that it provides for a realistic plan for repurposing of the facility that results in gainful employment for our citizens.
I do recognize that Commissioner Crabtree resides in Scioto County and represents our friends and neighbors there. However it is unreasonable for Mr. Crabtree to ask the Village of Piketon to quietly agree to DOE’s plan to construct a 100 acre+ low level nuclear and hazardous waste landfill in our backyards. Surely everyone can see that it is easy for surrounding counties to support DOE’s plans for building a nuclear waste landfill considering they are not the ones that will be impacted and stigmatized with nuclear waste in their community.
As for Commissioner Crabtree’s blanket accusations that clearly in his own words came from second hand information, they are simply unfounded and warrant no further discussion. And as for “getting on board” we will do so when our village has all of the information necessary to make a sound decision. So forgive us if we are not so willing to accept this nuclear waste landfill at face value, but if Commissioner
Crabtree is so overjoyed to have it built, just let us know the location in Scioto County where we can send this nuclear waste and we will talk to DOE about shipping it down there.
Being a team player requires communication and I invite Commissioner Crabtree, other commissioners, DOE, and FBP to meet with our Village to see what the third party assessment information means for our communities. We meet the first and third Monday of the month at 7pm or you could call the office at 740-259-4424 to set up a meeting. In addition to serving on Village Council, I am on the SSAB and a member of Energy Communities Alliance (ECA) – an organization for counties and cities that are close to US DOE nuclear sites and I invite you to participate in SSAB and ECA meetings to discuss issues and concerns of the host community.