The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) has approved a notice of intent (NOI) to prepare a new Site-wide Environmental Impact Statement for Continued Operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL SWEIS).

The NOI was published in the Federal Register on Aug. 5.

The LLNL SWEIS will analyze the potential environmental impacts of the reasonable alternatives for continuing LLNL operations for approximately the next 15 years.

“NNSA is committed to being a good steward of the environment while carrying out our national security missions,” said Lisa E. Gordon-Hagerty, DOE Under Secretary for Nuclear Security and NNSA Administrator. “The continued operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is critical for NNSA’s Stockpile Stewardship Program and reducing global nuclear threats.”

The LLNL SWEIS will analyze at least two alternatives, the No Action Alternative and the Proposed Action. The No Action Alternative, which provides a benchmark for comparison with the environmental effects of the other alternatives, is to continue current LLNL operations of programs in support of assigned missions, without foreseeable new operations and facilities for the next 15 years. The Proposed Action would address aging infrastructure concerns and includes those projects, activities and facilities described for the No Action Alternative, as well as the construction of new facilities, modification of existing facilities, operational changes and decontamination and decommissioning of excess facilities.

The NOI invites other federal agencies, state and local governments, Native American tribes and members of the public to comment on the scope and alternatives of this SWEIS. In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, a virtual scoping meeting will be held in place of in-person meetings. Information about how to participate in the virtual meeting and submit comments will be posted on the NNSA NEPA Reading Room web page and will also be announced in local newspapers at least 15 days prior to the date of the meeting.    

Following the scoping period, NNSA will prepare the LLNL Draft SWEIS. NNSA anticipates the LLNL Draft SWEIS will be published in early 2021.