The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has extended to April 19, 2017 the period of time it will accept public comments on the Draft Environmental Assessment related to potential environmental impacts of proposed property transfers at its Portsmouth Site.
Piketon Mayor Billy Spencer told the Daily Times he can’t get a commitment from the Department of Energy that they will completely decontaminate the Piketon site so that the land can be used in the future for reindustrialization, so he asked for a 60-day extension from DOE on the comment period for the draft environmental assessment: Conveyance of Real property at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant.
The DOE has accommodated the request by extending the deadline to April 19, 2017. The DOE is proposing the release of multiple parcels of land for future use from the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant (PORTS) Site in Piketon. Land suitable for economic development could be transferred to other entities for various uses as DOE continues its cleanup mission at the Site. DOE has prepared a Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) to analyze the potential environmental consequences associated with such transfers of land and to obtain public input on the proposal.
“We actually started this process last June (2016) with a resolution, and to this day we still haven’t heard a response,” Spencer said. “Here’s what we’re asking for. If there’s a chance to have this site cleaned up for industrialized use, that they clean up the existitarted this process last June (2016) with a resolution, and to this day we still haven’t heard a response,” Spencer said. “Here’s what we’re asking for. If there’s a chance to have this site cleaned up for industrialized use, that they clean up the existing land landfills on the site, that you dig up and clean the underground plumes that are contaminated and, if you don’t do that, we don’t believe for a second that any company or anybody is going to come in here and reuse this land that is contaminated with a landfill that is already there.”
According to the company, PORTS property transfers of individual parcels would each undergo evaluations on a parcel-by-parcel basis and each transfer would have to be found to be protective of human health and the environment in order to be determined suitable for transfer.
In the draft EA, DOE is analyzing potential environmental impacts of the transfer of property for a range of uses such as industrial/commercial use, or mixed-use such as industrial, business park, conservation and forestry/wildlife management, and will consider the public’s thoughts and comments on the draft EA.
The draft EA is available at the DOE Environmental Information Center, 1862 Shyville Road, Room 207, Piketon, OH and is available electronically at http://energy.gov/nepa/nepa-documents/environmental-assessments-EA.
Written comments can be mailed to: Environmental Assessment Comments, U.S. Dept. of Energy, PO Box 700, Piketon, OH 45661 or emailed to [email protected] Comments can also be directed toll-free to 1-888-603-7722.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.