WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today announced that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will commit $4.4 million over two years for continued cleanup of the former Gaseous Diffusion Plant (GDP) in Piketon. Brown has led the fight to fund cleanup and redevelopment of the Piketon site, spearheading the fight to include critical funds in the Recovery Act that will expedite the cleanup completion date by 20 years.
“This is just one more step forward toward the successful cleanup,” Brown said. “By accelerating the cleanup, we’re creating jobs throughout southern Ohio, protecting the environment, and setting the stage for development and reuse of the site. As encouraging as this continued progress is, I will continue to fight for funding that brings jobs and increased economic activity at Piketon.”
In December 2010, Brown urged President Obama to fully fund the cleanup and support the Decommissioning and Decontamination Fund. A member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Brown has led the fight in Congress to accelerate the Piketon cleanup and to create new jobs. He successfully secured an expedited timeframe for the cleanup, accelerating the completion date by more than 20 years.
As a result of Brown and President Obama's efforts, Piketon received double the amount of cleanup funding, including $118 million in cleanup funds through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. President Obama's FY 2011 budget request also includes nearly $500 million for the project. Federal funds for Piketon will have helped to put more than 2,600 Ohioans to work in the region.
Brown is continuing to fight for the American Centrifuge Project (ACP) also located at Piketon. In letters to White House Chief of Staff William Daley and Office of Management and Budget Director Jabob Lew, Brown emphasized that an expeditious loan approval process would ensure the domestic enrichment of uranium for national security activities.
USEC’s application for a government loan guarantee would help build state of the art uranium enrichment technology at the former Department of Energy (DOE) Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Piketon. If successful, the ACP could bring as many as 4,000 construction jobs and 400 long-term, full time jobs to Piketon.
Brown is working closely with USEC and DOE to ensure facilitated coordination efforts for the American Centrifuge Project. At the end of 2010, Brown urged the Obama Administration to move forward in approving the loan guarantee for the American Centrifuge Plant (ACP) and to fully fund cleanup at the former Gaseous Diffusion Plant. In February 2010, Brown worked with DOE to reach an agreement that resulted in DOE devoting $45 million in new funds to advance the ACP. In October 2010, Brown visited Piketon. A week later, DOE announced that efforts to secure a loan guarantee for USEC have taken a significant step forward. DOE and USEC had reached a framework for further discussions. In December, Brown called on the administration to fully fund the Piketon Cleanup.