How millions from SRS deal will be spent locally

We take a deeper look at a settlement deal between South Carolina and the U.S. Department of Energy.
Published: Jun. 10, 2022 at 2:42 PM EDT
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AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - State lawmakers have mapped out how to spend millions in a settlement with the federal government over the Savannah River Site, and the money is a big win for some local counties.

The split of the SRS plutonium settlement money was agreed to by the House-Senate Budget Conference Committee.

Aiken, Barnwell and Allendale counties are set to split $343 million, with four other nearby counties getting $26 million.

That totals nearly 70% of the $525 million total settlement.

The remainder goes to the Port of Charleston.

The $600 million settlement was reached in 2020, ending six years of legal battles between the state of South Carolina and the federal government.

It gives the U.S. Department of Energy until 2037 to remove 9.5 metric tons of weapons-grade plutonium from the Savannah River Site, which covers 198,046 acres in Aiken, Barnwell and Allendale counties and has a workforce of more than 11,000.

On Friday, state Sen. Bill Taylor announced how some of the money will be spent. Here are some of the big winners:

  • $30 million: Aiken Schools new Career Development Center
  • $25 million: Aiken downtown redevelopment
  • $20 million: New Savannah River Lock and Dam
  • $20 million: SRS National Lab at University of South Carolina Aiken
  • $15 million: Cyber Command Center in North Augusta
  • $10 million: National Guard Dreamport at University of South Carolina Aiken
  • $11.5 million: New Nursing Center at Aiken Tech
  • $10 million: Industrial Park in Eastern Aiken County
  • $4 million: Major water line along Highway 39 in eastern Aiken County
  • $6 million: Aiken County Rural Health Services new building
  • $500,000: Children’s Place new facility
  • $250,000: Aiken County United Way infrastructure

“Hats off to all the local leaders who collaborated on creating a meaningful list of projects that will use this windfall of money for long range impact on our area,” Taylor said.

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