The Reindustrialization program is closely connected with the EM mission at the East Tennessee Technology Park in Oak Ridge. As cleanup advances, the Department of Energy is able to transfer more facilities and land for reuse and development. Together, these programs save taxpayer dollars and spur economic development in the region.
As EM cleans the East Tennessee Technology Park (formerly known as the K-25 site), the Reindustrialization program is working to transfer the site to the community so it can be converted into a privately-owned and operated industrial park when EM completes cleanup.
The programs work with the Community Reuse Organization of East Tennessee to identify reuse options at the site. To date, the partnership has saved more than $110 million and brought in dozens of businesses. The saved funds can be directed toward additional cleanup to finish projects sooner. In addition, EM saves $6 million annually since transitioning onsite fire and emergency services to the city. When private businesses lease or purchase land or buildings, the Department avoids surveillance and maintenance costs, and in some cases, it avoids demolition costs. Additionally, as cleanup progresses, EM can transfer utility and infrastructure responsibilities and costs.
The East Tennessee Technology Park is comprised of two main areas-- the Heritage Center and the Horizon Center. The Heritage Center is a brownfield reindustrialized area within the footprint of the original Manhattan Project-era site. Today, after years of cleanup, EM has removed numerous environmental hazards and millions of square feet of old facilities. With cleanup advancing, the Reindustrialization program has been able to help attract almost 20 companies to operate onsite. The area adjacent to the Heritage Center, known as the Horizon Center, is a 1,000 acre greenfield site with 440 acres of developable land. The city of Oak Ridge now owns and markets the remaining available parcels there, which is steadily growing.
Finally, the Department and EM repurposed 3,000 acres adjacent to the East Tennessee Technology Park for conservation and recreational use, including several greenways and trail systems. As partial compensation for natural resource damages, the Department of Energy and the State of Tennessee established a conservation easement for this area.
Without EM, risks would remain that bar new development and economic growth regionally. Our employees realize that their work and progress directly affects other local Department missions, the safety of local residents, and future sources of revenue.