Brown and Portman Seek Funding for Ongoing Cleanup at Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) today asked Senate Appropriators to include funding to maintain ongoing cleanup efforts at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Piketon in any short-term continuing resolution considered in the Senate. While the fiscal year 2017 Energy and Water Appropriations bill passed in the Senate earlier this year included funding for decontamination and decommissioning (D&D) efforts at the site, the bill has not cleared the House of Representatives – leaving funding for the plant in question. Continued funding for the plant is critical to ongoing cleanup and preventing layoffs.

“Portsmouth’s D&D efforts are an integral part of the Department of Energy’s commitment to the people of southern Ohio,” said Brown and Portman in a letter sent to leaders of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “Continued operations at the present level is an essential part of that commitment.”

Brown and Portman have helped maintain jobs at the plant by securing funding in last year’s appropriations bill. After layoff notices were issued last year, Brown and Portman worked to ensure that the continuing resolution maintained the D&D operations and workforce at the plant.

Full text of the letter is below.

 

September 1, 2016

 

The Honorable Thad Cochran                                         The Honorable Barbara Mikulski
Chairman                                                                         Ranking Member        
Senate Committee on Appropriations                             Senate Committee on Appropriations
S-128, The Capitol                                                          S-128, The Capitol
Washington, DC 20510                                                  Washington, DC 20510

 

The Honorable Lamar Alexander                                    The Honorable Dianne Feinstein 
Chairman                                                                          Ranking Member 
Subcommittee on Energy and                                          Subcommittee on Energy and
Water Development                                                         Water Development
SD-142                                                                             SD-188
Washington, DC 20510                                                   Washington, DC 20510

 

 

Dear Chairman Cochran, Ranking Member Mikulski, Chairman Alexander, and Ranking Member Feinstein:

Last year, we worked with you to ensure that the decontamination and decommissioning (D&D) efforts at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant (Portsmouth) in Piketon, Ohio, would continue without interruption or layoffs to the facility’s workforce.  This was made possible because we, and our colleagues in the Ohio delegation, requested, and you supported, a budget anomaly which allowed the Department of Energy to continue D&D funding above the level appropriated in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 appropriations.

As the fiscal year ends, it does not appear that Congress will pass the fiscal year 2017 Energy and Water appropriations bill by the end of September.  We ask that the Committee again provide anomaly that sustains the current level of funding for D & D efforts at Portsmouth by providing an anomaly in any short-term continuing resolution (CR) the Senate considers. We remain committed to working with the Committee to ensure a final appropriation that fully supports the ongoing cleanup efforts at Portsmouth.

Portsmouth’s D&D efforts are an integral part of the Department of Energy’s commitment to the people of southern Ohio.  Continued operations at the present level is an essential part of that commitment.  We look forward to working with you to preserve the jobs at this facility.

 

Sincerely,

 

###