Office of Legacy Management

Weapons to Wetlands: A Decade of Difference

October 18, 2016

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Oct. 29 Event at Fernald marks 10 years since Declaration of Completion

CINCINNATI, Ohio – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will host a special event marking the 10th anniversary of the Fernald remediation on Saturday, October 29, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Fernald Preserve Visitors Center, 7400 Willey Road, Hamilton, OH, 45013.  Please join us on the footprint of this former uranium production plant as workers, neighbors, regulators, activist groups, contractors, and DOE come together again to celebrate the tremendous effort and spirit of cooperation that made the massive cleanup of the site a success.

In the 1980s you couldn’t watch the six o’clock news or read the paper without hearing about Fernald’s environmental issues. Aquifer contamination seeped into nearby drinking water wells; radium bearing waste was stored in aging silos; giant waste pits with a mixture of production byproduct; and row after row of rusting 55-gallon drums stacked on outside storage pads. Along with angry citizens and regulators, these images sent a powerful message that change was needed.   

On October 29, a Weapons to Wetlands: A Decade of Difference event will be held to remember how the largest environmental remediation in Ohio’s history gained momentum with soils mitigation and building demolition finishing ahead of schedule, thus creating a place that serves as a destination for those who love and study nature. Equally important, the Weapons to Wetlands story tells how workers and residents came together to work with DOE, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Ohio EPA, and the cleanup contractor to develop a health-protective remediation path that was acceptable and achievable by all involved in the process.

Former workers, neighbors, and stakeholders are encouraged to come to the 1,050-acre Fernald Preserve on Saturday between 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. to see the undeveloped park, tour the first LEED Platinum building in Ohio, learn Cold War history at the Visitors Centers’ exhibit area, and walk some of the 7 miles of trails now available to the public. Site bus tours will also be offered and visitors can hike to the top of the on-site disposal facility for a stunning view of the restored land.  At 11:00 a.m., DOE will host a brief program featuring speakers from the site’s cleanup era and present long-term stewardship mission. At noon, the Cold War Patriots will recognize the National Day of Remembrance for nuclear weapons program workers.    

For questions or to register for the Weapons to Wetlands: A Decade of Difference event contact the Fernald Preserve at (513) 648-3330 or email