WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today announced that the Fiscal Year 2016 appropriations bill will fully fund continued cleanup work at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Piketon. After WARN notices were sent to employees, Brown helped fund decontamination and decommissioning (D&D) operations at the plant through Dec. 11 and ensured that no layoffs would occur at the site during that time. Congress is taking up the year-end appropriations bill this week.
“Workers at the Piketon Plant have dedicated their lives to cleaning and restoring this site for future use,” said Brown. “This bill protects jobs at Piketon, giving workers and their families needed peace of mind and ensures that their important work can continue. Ongoing cleanup at the site is critical to southern Ohio’s economy now and in the future. Moving forward, we can accelerate that progress by seeking greater funding for these operations and making sure Piketon and its workers don’t experience ongoing uncertainty about the plant’s future.”
After WARN notices were issued earlier this year, Brown worked to ensure that the continuing resolution fully funded D&D operations at the plant through Dec. 11. He also worked with U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz to guarantee that no layoffs would occur at the Plant during that time period. Brown has repeatedly urged Senate appropriators to prioritize funding for Piketon. In August, he wrote to the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Committee urging full funding of D&D operations at Piketon in the FY 2016 appropriations bill. He also wrote to appropriators in March requesting the funding.
In October, Brown – along with several members of the Ohio Congressional Delegation – penned a letter to Moniz asking him to maintain employment levels at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion plant using the funding provided by Congress and to include adequate funding for D&D operations in the Administrations FY 2017 budget request. Brown also sent his own request to Moniz and Director of the Office of Management and Budget Shaun Donovan urging them to include $460 million for D&D at Piketon in the FY 2017 budget.