Senator McConnell Announces Extension of Grant for Cleanup at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant
U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell announced Wednesday that the Department of Energy has approved a $2.4 million extension to the grant for environmental research and cleanup at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Paducah, Kentucky.
The funding, which will be extended to September 30, 2010, enables the Kentucky Research Consortium for Energy and the Environment (KRCEE), which is a collaborative effort by the University of Kentucky, Murray State University and the University of Louisville, to assist in the environmental cleanup at the Paducah plant.
"This funding is being used by the consortium to ensure that the cleanup at the Paducah plant is being done in a safe and environmentally friendly manner," Senator McConnell said. "The consortium is also tackling a number of the economic development challenges and opportunities facing this community, and I appreciate DOE for recognizing the importance of this project and extending this critical funding."
"We are excited that this important research project will receive additional funding, and we are grateful for Senator McConnell for his continued support," said University of Kentucky President Dr. Lee T. Todd, Jr. "During the last five years, the KRCEE has addressed a myriad of challenging issues, ranging from soil and groundwater contamination to seismic and economic development issues in western Kentucky. While the previous funding supported more than 20 projects that resulted in a direct impact on the cleanup activities in Paducah, and the new funding allows the KRCEE to continue to address the technical needs related with the cleanup and continue to assist the local community as they address both economic and environmental issues. These actions are consistent with the responsibilities of the state's flagship, land-grant institution of higher learning as well as our mission of becoming a Top 20 research institution seeking to directly improve to lives of Kentuckians and all Americans."
Lindell Ormsbee, Director of the KRCEE added, "We are extremely happy to be able to continue this very productive partnership with the DOE and the state of Kentucky that helps to address complex and challenging legacy environmental issues associated with our national defense. This funding will allow us to continue working on technical issues associated with the clean-up of the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant and will provide additional and expanded support for tackling the challenges faced by members of the Paducah community. Senator McConnell has been incredibly helpful and supportive of this work that is a testament to how the federal government can collaborate with both universities and communities to help solve such complex problems."
The KRCEE was established at UK in 2003, through funds secured by Senator McConnell in FY '03 and FY '04 totaling $5 million. McConnell also inserted language in a FY '09 funding bill highlighting the importance of this project and acknowledging DOE's continued support of it.