COLUMBUS—Speaker of the Ohio House Clifford A. Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) issued a letter to US Office of Management and Budget Director Shaun Donovan and US Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz regarding the recent announcement of the potential layoff of up to 500 employees at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Piketon, Ohio.


 


In the letter, Speaker Rosenberger urged Director Donovan and Secretary Moniz to continue working with the Ohio Congressional Delegation in order to avoid the funding shortfall. He also expressed his concerns about the effects of not fully funding the project, saying it would be disastrous to the economy in southern Ohio.


 


“In an effort to be proactive and economically efficient, the Piketon community has worked with the Department of Energy to develop a decontamination and decommission strategy that would schedule the project for completion by 2024,” he wrote in the letter. “This plan, if continued on its current timeline, would be most beneficial for the environment and the local economy. By laying off nearly one-third of the employees responsible for cleaning up the plant and readying it for reindustrialization, the Department of Energy would break its 2009 commitment to the Piketon community to accelerate the cleanup and complete work by 2024, while also providing a devastating blow to southern Ohio families.”


 


 The full letter is below (and attached as a PDF):


 


Dear Director Donovan and Secretary Moniz,


 


I write to express my serious concern over the recent announcement from the U.S. Department of Energy that WARN Act notices have been issued to approximately 500 employees working to clean up the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Piketon, Ohio. A layoff of this proportion would be disastrous to the southern Ohio economy and I urge you to continue to work with the Ohio Congressional Delegation to avoid this funding shortfall.


 


In an effort to be proactive and economically efficient, the Piketon community has worked with the Department of Energy to develop a decontamination and decommission strategy that would schedule the project for completion by 2024. This plan, if continued on its current timeline, would be most beneficial for the environment and the local economy. By laying off nearly one-third of the employees responsible for cleaning up the plant and readying it for reindustrialization, the Department of Energy would break its 2009 commitment to the Piketon community to accelerate the cleanup and complete work by 2024, while also providing a devastating blow to southern Ohio families.


 


Again, I urge the Department of Energy to continue to work with the Ohio Congressional Delegation to keep the cleanup process at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant fully funded. In doing so, the hard-working citizens of southern Ohio will receive the employment certainty that they were promised and deserve, while also providing our nation and the world with a model of effective and efficient uranium enrichment facility decontamination and decommission.


 


Thank you for your time and for continuing to work with the Ohio Congressional Delegation on this most important matter.

 

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