Ohio EPA wants land around former nuclear plant

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency plans to offer a total of about $13.7 million to property owners who promise not to develop land around a Cold War-era nuclear production plant in southwest Ohio.

The money comes from a nearly three-year-old settlement in which the U.S. Energy Department paid the state to settle damages over contaminated ground water at the Feed Materials Production Center at Fernald, about 20 miles northwest of Cincinnati.

Ohio EPA spokeswoman Heather Lauer tells The Columbus Dispatch for a Sunday report that a goal is to conserve groundwater and a nearby stream. The land is part of a 9,000-acre area north and west of Fernald, which is now a nature preserve.

The agency, along with a conservation trust, will meet with residents Wednesday to discuss its proposals.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)