Paducah to see nearly $200 million from spending bill for diffusion site clean-up

On Friday, Congress passed a $1.1 trillion spending bill that will fund the government through September 2016.

Almost $200 million of that budget is coming right here to Paducah. It’s for the Department of Energy to continue to clean-up the gaseous diffusion site. The President’s original budget allocated $168 million for the clean-up next year. It was a combined effort of city, state, and national leadership that brought that number to $199.9 million.

Sandra Wilson, Paducah’s Chamber of Commerce president, says a face-to-face meeting at the nation’s capital in September, paid off today. “They know how important it is to our area from an environmental standpoint also an employment standpoint, to keep those employees working,” Wilson said.

Without the $30 million dollar increase for next year, Wilson said the gaseous diffusion clean-up site would probably have fewer projects and less employees. “It is critical for our community. I mean, its 1,600 employees that are working out there.”

Wilson says she, along with other local leadership, will continue to communicate Paducah’s needs to D.C. Wilson wants Paducah to get it’s “fair share of what needs to be spent in this community.”

David Marventano, Senior Vice-President of Government Relations for Fluor Federal Services says: “Senators McConnell and Paul as well as congressman Whitfield have tirelessly kept this site on the top of their priority list. As soon as President Obama signs the bill into law, I am confident our project team in Paducah will work with DOE to put these dollars to work.

Fluor’s 3-year contract will wrap up July 2017. Wilson says she wants longer contracts, possibly 5 years, so workers feel more stable in their jobs. 

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