Two men speaking at the open house
Portsmouth Site Lead Jeremy Davis, right, talks with a community member while providing information on site progress during the Pike County Open House.

PIKE COUNTY, Ohio – Communication is critical to any relationship, and this stands true for the Portsmouth Site and its local community.

Through its open house events, the Portsmouth Site maintains and builds trust within the community by providing communication on decontamination and decommissioning progress. These events allow the public to speak one-on-one with representatives from EM, site contractors and various community-support organizations.

During recent open house sessions in Scioto and Pike counties, community members visited various stations containing photographs and information. They also spoke with individuals from the site, Southern Ohio Diversification Initiative, Portsmouth Site Specific Advisory Board, Ohio University, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, and Kathryn Higley, Ph.D., an expert in radiological health sciences at Oregon State University.

“In order to maintain and build trust with the community, open and honest communication is important,” said Portsmouth/Paducah Project Office Manager Joel Bradburne. “We have found our series of open house meetings, held twice a year throughout the region, to be a great way for the community to carry on conversations with our subject matter experts at a more personal level.”

Three people speaking at a poster session at the Pike County Open House
Fluor-BWXT On-Site Waste Disposal Facility Director Paul Larsen, left, speaks to Portsmouth business owner Nancy Ross, right, with input from Enterprise Technical Assistance Services Technical Support Lead Jesse Pack during the Scioto County Open House.

The events allow individuals to ask questions and learn about what the future holds for the site, Portsmouth Site Lead Jeremy Davis added.

“It’s crucial we have these open conversations with the community and stakeholders so they know what comes next,” Davis said. “They can drive by and see the buildings come down. However, there are always questions regarding the end state of the site.”

More than two dozen community members attended the Scioto County open house, and nearly 60 were present at the Pike County event. The events are free and open to the public.

The Portsmouth Site also offers other opportunities for community engagement through monthly public site tours conducted from April to October. Click here for more information.

-Contributors: Shawn Jordan, Michelle Teeters