Clean-up Agreement Reached for Paducah Plant

EPA announced Friday that an agreement has been reached on the schedule for\r\nclean-up and assessment activities the Paducah Gaseous\r\nDiffusion Plant in Kentucky.

EPA announced Friday that an agreement among the agency, the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection has been reached on the schedule for clean-up and assessment activities for DOE''s Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Paducah, Ky.

The agreement ensures the available DOE resources are being used to initiate cleanup to mitigate potential for off-site contaminant releases during Fiscal Years 2001 and 2002.

However, EPA said that to achieve the 2010 goal for completion of cleanup, significant increases over the Fiscal Year 2001 funding levels will likely be necessary in future years.

"I am pleased with this agreement," said John Hankinson Jr., EPA regional administrator for Region 4. "EPA shares concerns raised in recent news articles showing possible plutonium contamination on and around the facility. the presence of plutonium off-site and the public concern should be good reason for DOE to increase funding for investigation of off-site releases. The pubic should not have to choose between investigation of off-site contamination or high priority cleanups."

EPA said it will continue to work with DOE and Kentucky to support DOE''s request for sufficient funding to meet its obligation to complete cleanup of the Paducah facility by 2010, including investigation and any response needed to address off-site contamination.

by Virginia Sutcliffe

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