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PACRO Board Waiting for Gov't to Release $175m in Cleanup Funds

Lance Dennee

With a lay-off looming of around 360 workers at Paducah’s United States Enrichment Corporation plant, the Purchase-Area Community Reuse Organization  (PACRO) continues to fight for $175m in funding from the DOE for site cleanup to put people to work.

PACRO is a government-funded entity charged with mitigating the effects of the ongoing shutdown at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant.

The federal budget has allocated more than $300m for ongoing clean-up projects at the site, which is contaminated by nuclear waste.

Paducah Mayor Gayle Kayler is a PACRO member and says they are in the dark on hang-up getting this portion of the funding to Paducah.

“You know if the money would be here we would have people here working we would have companies out there that are already in place hiring more people,” said Kayler. “That’s what we continue to ask the Department of Energy, what is going on with the money”

The allocated funds from the DOE are to be used for cleanup at the site that may employ some of the workers that are laid off from USEC or other clean-up operations.

PACRO chairman Charlie Martin said, “We have $175 million of new money that either has to be spent in 2014 or it’s going to get rolled forward in 2015. We continue to put pressure on DOE to make that award.”

“It’s just critical that the Department of Energy does not put this into cold storage which we keep getting the feeling that’s where they’re leading,” mayor Kaler said.

The PACRO board also voted to reduce its size in hopes to be more efficient and affective in dealing with Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant’s future.

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