Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory announced today via the Federal Register that it has released the new Site-Wide Environmental Impact Statement (SWEIS) to “analyze the potential environmental impacts associated with continuing LLNL operations and foreseeable new and/or modified operations and facilities for approximately the next 15 years” pursuant to the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Click here to view the SWEIS Summary.

Tri-Valley CAREs and many other stakeholders participated in the scoping process for the SWEIS last year. The Draft SWEIS documents should be responsive to the comments made during scoping and provide far more detail about the Lab’s plans.

While Tri-Valley CAREs will be doing an in-depth review of the newly released documents, the federal register notice already provides some interesting new detail. For example, it mentions that the “NNSA proposes operational changes that would increase the tritium emission limits in the National Ignition Facility (Building 581) and the Tritium Facility (Building 331), decrease the administrative limit for fuels-grade-equivalent plutonium in the Superblock (Building 332), increase the administrative limits for plutonium-239 at Building 235, and revise the National Ignition Facility radioactive materials administrative limits to be consistent with DOE’s Facility Hazard Categorization Standard (DOE-STD-1027).” Tri-Valley CAREs is concerned about these administrative limit alterations and what it means for the safety of the nearby community. Especially concerning is the increase of Plutonium 239 in Building 235, which is part of the Lab’s chemistry and nuclear material complex at the main site.

The document currently provides for a 60-day public comment period and three public hearings to receive comments on the Draft LLNL SWEIS. While 60 days is the statutory minimum required, it is a difficult time of year to expect people to devote time to focus on a lengthy document and the preparation of a detailed comment. Tri-Valley CAREs plans to seek an extension of the public comment period from the current due date of January 3, 2023 to February 2, 2023. Thus, giving people an extra 30 days to prepare written comments outside of the holiday season.

The two in person public hearings are as follows (Mark your calendars!)

December 7, 2022; 6:00-8:30 p.m. – Garré Vineyard & Winery, 7986 Tesla Road, Livermore, CA 94550.

December 8, 2022; 6:00-8:30 p.m. – Tracy City Hall, City Council Chambers, 333 Civic Center Drive, Tracy, CA 95376.

Look forward to more updates and comments on the SWEIS in the coming weeks as Tri-Valley CAREs staff and members review the documents in depth.

Click here for the SWEIS Summary…

Click here to view the SWEIS Volumes 1 Chapters 1-10…

Click here to view SWIES Volume  2- Appendices

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