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Commissioners send letter to new DOE boss

By Frank Lewis

August 2, 2013

Frank Lewis


PDT Staff Writer


The county commissions of Scioto, Pike, Ross and Jackson have come together and issued a resolution urging Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz to support the final vision plan for the former gaseous diffusion plant in Piketon. The letter itself was drafted by and sent from the office of the Pike County Commissioners.


“We wish to congratulate you on your confirmation as Secretary of Energy and we look forward to working with you on several important issues confronting the Department of Energy facility in Pike County,” the letter begins. “The workers at the Gaseous Diffusion Plant at Piketon provided invaluable service to the nation for half a century. The plant provided employment for Pike County residents as well as workers from neighboring Ross, Scioto and Jackson counties.”


The letter goes on to say, “We have also watched the plan for demolition and reclaiming of the site evolve throughout the past decade. Over the past two years the county commissioners of Ross, Jackson and Scioto counties have joined with us to reach a consensus on the final cleanup, reclamation and reindustrialization of the site. We have also worked closely with Fluor, the DOE site people and the Ohio EPA to find the most cost-effective, neighbor-friendly plan for Piketon.”


The letter reflects that all four counties have forwarded a joint letter to his predecessor expressing support for the Fluor Final Vision plan.


The resolution reads in part, “Whereas the economic future for our community is heavily dependent on a timely cleanup and future reuse of the GDP site; Now, therefore, be it resolved that the four county boards of commissioners stand united in support of the future vision of the site, the consolidation of all landfills and plumes to be placed in an on-site disposal cell; and that the four county boards of commissioners urge the Department of Energy to fund the cleanup through federal appropriations at levels sufficient for a safe and timely cleanup to retain as much as the current workforce as possible and to not rely on funds from uranium barter.”


The resolution says that now is the time for decision to be made that will set the D&D project on the path of mutual success for DOE and the four counties.


“It is with a spirit of cooperation that we ask for your response and commitment on the part of the DOE to our community’s end-state vision for the GDP facility.”


Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at flewis@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.