WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today met with County Commissioners from Adams and Scioto Counties to discuss the future of the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Piketon. Following Brown’s urging, the continuing resolution – which funds the government through Dec. 11 – gives DOE the ability to continue decontamination and decommissioning (D&D) operations at Piketon.
“The people who work and live near Piketon understand the importance of the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant to southern Ohio’s economy,” said Brown. “Our meeting was an opportunity to hear their concerns and relay those concerns to the Department of Energy and my colleagues as we seek a long-term funding solution for the plant. We must all work together to ensure that cleanup continues at its current place so the site can be redeveloped in the future.”
Since WARN notices were issued at the Piketon plant, Brown has continued his push to find funding for the project. In August, 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 with and written to Secretary Moniz and Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Shaun Donovan urging continued investment in the D&D of the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Piketon.
Brown has repeatedly called on the Obama Administration and Senate Appropriators to fully fund the cleanup of the plant and continued operation of the American Centrifuge Project. In March, Brown wrote to leaders of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee requesting full funding of the cleanup site. In January, he wrote to OMB Director Donovan requesting full funding for the project in President’s FY 2016 budget. In December 2014, Brown helped avert layoffs at the facility and secured more than $200 million in direct funding to continue cleanup efforts as part of the FY15 omnibus appropriations bill.