Ground Water

Groundwater DOE considers plan to stop treating groundwater

US Department of Energy officials are looking at a plan to stop treating contaminated groundwater from a former uranium enrichment plant and start dumping it directly into the Great Miami River. The plan is one of six alternatives being considered by the Energy Department. It would save the federal government about 80 million dollars. State environmental officials and the Fernald Citizens Advisory Board say they oppose the proposal. Officials say the current treatment process will cost about 168 million dollars by the time cleanup is finished at the Fernald plant near Cincinnati. In that process, wastewater is cleaned to drinking water standards at an on-site plant before it's put back into a nearby aquifer. Production was stopped at Fernald 1989 to concentrate on a cleanup of the one-thousand-acre site. Cleanup is to be completed in 2006.