PIKE COUNTY, Ohio - Additional air monitoring stations are being installed that will enhance environmental and radiological data collection during demolition of the Portsmouth Site’s three large gaseous diffusion plant buildings where uranium was enriched throughout the Cold War.
Pursuant to an agreement between EM, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA), and the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), the stations will enable independent sampling for regulators and the public.
“We continue to work closely with our regulator partners and stakeholders to provide transparent access to important data that will help us all evaluate and ensure the protection of human health and the environment,” Portsmouth Site Lead Jeff Bettinger said. “This increased level of monitoring and reporting is directly relevant to the upcoming demolition of the large process buildings.”
Ohio EPA will monitor for the presence of particulate matter, asbestos, metals, and volatile organic compounds, such as trichloroethylene. Locations for the stations were determined by the Ohio EPA based on planned activities and prevailing wind direction.
Enhanced radiological air monitoring will be achieved through an agreement with the ODH, which will manage a network of 18 new monitoring stations on and around the site. The stations are being co-located alongside EM’s current 15 stations and three of the new Ohio EPA stations. Three additional EM-managed stations will provide another layer of data validation as results are compared among the agencies.
“Although each location will have DOE, Ohio EPA, and ODH air monitoring equipment, sampling and analysis will be performed independent of one another,” said Bob Purtee, the project’s reporting and support manager with Fluor-BWXT Portsmouth, the site's deactivation and decommissioning contractor.
Once the stations are operational, information on particulate matter will be gathered in real time. Samples for metals, asbestos, and volatile organic compounds will be collected and submitted by the respective parties weekly or monthly for analysis. The verified data from Ohio EPA, ODH, and EM will be available to the public on a quarterly basis.
All stations are scheduled to be installed and operational in 2020.