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The sun sets over the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Pike County, Ohio on May 6, 2019.  Earlier this week, a number of Pike County residents filed a lawsuit alleging more than 2,000 people are adversely affected by the release of radioactive materials from the plant.
The sun sets over the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Pike County, Ohio on May 6, 2019.  Earlier this week, a number of Pike County residents filed a lawsuit alleging more than 2,000 people are adversely affected by the release of radioactive materials from the plant. (Jordan Kelley | WOUB)

Pike County Residents File Lawsuit Over Radioactive Contamination

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PIKETON (WOUB) — Residents of Pike County filed a class action lawsuit against eight U.S. Department of Energy contractors responsible for uranium enrichment operations at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant.

The suit filed last Sunday claims more than 2,000 people were adversely affected by the release of radioactive materials, due to negligence by Department of Energy contractors.

“Through their silence as well as their aggressive public relation efforts, (Department of Energy contractors) have reassured the public and plaintiffs that their operations have not contaminated nearby properties.,” according to the suit. “(They) made misrepresentations that were meant to assure plaintiffs that the Portsmouth Site presents absolutely no danger to the public.”

The plaintiffs are Ursula and Jason McGlone, who live about two miles from the site, also called the A-plant. Julia Dunham and her children, who live approximately four miles away, are also plaintiffs in the suit.  They seek damages and remediation of the radioactive contamination found on their property.

The class action suit represents property owners within a seven mile radius of the Portsmouth Site, anyone who lived within a seven mile radius for a year or more, and all current and former Zahn’s Corner Middle School students from 1993 to the present.

The defendants listed are the eight U.S. Department of Energy contractors who carried out enrichment and clean up operations. Depleted uranium conversion and clean up operations are ongoing.

The lawsuit was filed May 26 in the United States District Court Southern District of Ohio.

WOUB reached out to an attorney for the plaintiffs, Mark Underwood, but has not heard back. No attorneys were listed for the defendants.