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PORTSfuture Vision Video Documentary Screening at the 21st Annual Washington D.C. Environmental Film Festival

Madison Koenig
March 19, 2013

On Friday, March 22, faculty and staff from Ohio University will present a documentary entitled "Vision: The Portsfuture Project" at the 21st annual Washington D.C. Environmental Film Festival. The festival runs from March12-March 24, 2013. This film documents the extensive community engagement process completed by faculty and staff from Ohio University's Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs under a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Environmental Management Portsmouth/Paducah Project Office.

The former Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant (PORTS) in Piketon, Ohio was one of three gaseous diffusion plants built by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission during the 1940s and 1950s. The plant operated from 1954 to 2001. The plant produced low-level enriched uranium during the cold war and later for use by the U.S. Navy in power reactors. The plant ceased operations in 2001 and currently the facility is being decontaminated and decommissioned. The Voinovich School was awarded the grant to conduct a community engagement process to seek public preferences for possible future uses for the site after cleanup is completed.

The PORTSfuture project engaged hundreds of community members from Pike, Jackson, Ross, and Scioto counties to develop possible future-use scenarios for the PORTS facility and these scenarios were voted on by the public-at-large. OU summarized the results of the project and the public preferences that emerged from the community voting process. The report was submitted to the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management for their consideration as they make cleanup and risk reduction decisions about the site. The OU project was developed at the request of the PORTS DOE staff and the PORTS Site Specific Advisory Board (SSAB) in order to engage the community in decontamination, decommissioning, and remediation decisions that will affect the possible future uses of the site for decades to come.

"Vision: The Portsfuture Project" details this process. The 46 minute documentary will be presented at noon on Friday, March 22, at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Blair Ruble, the Director of the Program on Global Resilience and Sustainability at the Woodrow Wilson Center, will introduce the film.

A panel discussion with viewers will take place after the film. Participants include Stephanie Howe, Associate Director for Human Capital and Operations; Robin Stewart, Senior Project Manager for the PORTSfuture project; Dr. Ani Ruhil, Associate Director for Research and Graduate Programs from the Voinovich School; and Casey Hayward, a faculty member at Bentley University and former member of Ohio University's School of Media Arts and Design.

The documentary will be one of 190 films screened at the festival, ranging from
children's films to traditional narratives to experimental work. These films were created in 50 different countries and most screenings and events are free to the public.

To learn more about the film festival, visit their website at: www.dcenvironmentalfilmfest.org

To find out more information about the screening of "Vision: The Portsfuture Project, visit: www.dcenvironmentalfilmfest.org/films/show/1032

More information about the PORTSfuture project can be found here.