LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 21, 2009) – The Kentucky Research Consortium for Energy and the Environment (KRCEE) will receive $2.4 million in federal funding to extend its role in restoring the environment of the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant, the Western Kentucky Wildlife Management Area and surrounding areas.
The new grant, which covers the period from Jan. 15, 2009, through Sept. 30, 2010, is an extension of $5 million in funding that established KRCEE at the University of Kentucky on Sept. 15, 2003. U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell obtained the original funding and this latest extension.
Under the grant, KRCEE works with the U.S. Department of Energy, the department's national laboratories, the federal Environmental Protection Agency and state regulatory agencies to help forge consensus solutions regarding cleanup and ongoing operations at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant. The new grant is being provided by the Department of Energy's Portsmouth/Paducah Project Office.
KRCEE, a collaborative effort by UK, Murray State University and the University of Louisville and headed by UK Professor Lindell Ormsbee, provides technical expertise for assessing and implementing cost-effective technologies and methodologies that could accelerate cleanup and risk reduction at and surrounding the plant.
"We are excited that this important research project will receive additional funding, and we are grateful for Sen. McConnell for his continued support," said UK President Lee T. Todd Jr. "During the last five years, the KRCEE has addressed a myriad of challenging issues, ranging from soil and groundwater contamination to seismic and economic development issues in western Kentucky.
"While the previous funding supported more than 20 projects that resulted in a direct impact on the cleanup activities in Paducah, the new funding allows the KRCEE to continue to address the technical needs related with the cleanup and continue to assist the local community as they address both economic and environmental issues. These actions are consistent with the responsibilities of the state's flagship, land-grant institution of higher learning as well as our mission of becoming a Top 20 research institution seeking to directly improve the lives of Kentuckians and all Americans," Todd said.
Ormsbee said, "We are extremely happy to be able to continue this very productive partnership with the DOE and the state of Kentucky that helps to address complex and challenging environmental issues associated with our national defense.
"This funding will allow us to continue working on technical issues associated with the cleanup of the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant and will provide additional and expanded support for tackling the challenges faced by members of the Paducah community. Sen. McConnell has been incredibly helpful and supportive of this work that is a testament to how the federal government can collaborate with both universities and communities to help solve such complex problems," Ormsbee added.