The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) is conducting a virtual public hearing via Zoom today at 6pm Pacific Time for the Draft Site-Wide Environmental Impact Statement (SWEIS) on Livermore Lab’s current and future operations.

This meeting is open to anyone who would like to attend from anywhere in the country. The meeting is expected to include a presentation from the NNSA as well as a public comment session where public comments will be recorded – and, under the law, must be responded to in the final review document.

The Virtual Public Hearing via Zoom:

Tuesday, December 13, 2022 from 6:00pm – 8:30pm (Pacific)
Meeting Link: http://tinyurl.com/LLNLSWEIS
Join by phone: (669) 900 -9128
Zoom Meeting ID: 852 6045 5697
Zoom Meeting Passcode: 975388

Ask for an Extension of the Public Comment Period

There will be an opportunity at the beginning of the Zoom meeting to sign up to speak during the public comment portion of the hearing. Here is one item for which Tri-Valley CAREs is asking your assistance. We sent NNSA a formal letter that requested a 30-day extension of the public comment period for the Livermore Lab SWEIS.

Right now, the public comment period is taking place entirely within the holiday season, with all public comments due on January 3. The Livermore Lab Draft SWEIS consists of 3-volumes with 1,408 pages!

As we noted in our letter, this is the time of year in which major religion and culture has its most important holidays. Many of us have long-planned travel, vacation time, and family obligations.

A 30-day extension to February 2 is essential to allow the public time to review the Draft SWEIS and formulate comments.

Tonight, we ask you to reiterate the need for a 30-day extension in your own words. It can be a short as a single sentence, or it can be longer. The “ask” is the important thing.

Note: NNSA has responded verbally that the agency is considering granting a 2-week extension rather than 30-days. This is what NNSA stated in its presentation at the two in-person SWEIS hearings in Livermore and Tracy. We expect NNSA to repeat that tonight at the Zoom hearing. We ask folks to request the full 30-days until February 2. It’s a huge document and a tough read during the holidays!

The SWEIS Process and Links for You

The hearing is part of its public participation process under the National Environmental Policy Act for the SWEIS, which is intended to analyze the potential environmental impacts of continued operations and proposed projects at both the Livermore Lab Main Site and its Site 300 high explosives testing range over the next 15 years.

Livermore Lab is one of two locations that develop every nuclear warhead and bomb in the U.S. stockpile. More than 88% of its Department of Energy budget this year is for one single budget line, “Nuclear Weapons Activities.”

Livermore Lab is developing several new warheads and variants:

  • The W87-1 is a wholly new warhead currently being designed at Livermore Lab to sit atop a new ICBM that the Pentagon is developing, called the Sentinel missile. The W87-1 will require new plutonium bomb cores (pits) and is a major driver for NNSA’s plan to expand plutonium pit production.
  • The W80-4 is a new warhead being designed at Livermore Lab for the new Long Range Stand-Off Weapon. This warhead will sit atop a new air-launched cruise missile.

• The W80-4Modification will be a special variant of the new W80-4, this one designed for a new Sea-Launched Cruise Missile, which the Biden Administration has said should be canceled (but is moving forward with funds recently approved by Congress).

The Draft SWEIS covers a dizzying array of existing and proposed programs and actions at the Lab. For example, the document describes 61 proposed projects, totaling approximately 2.9 million square feet, at the Livermore Lab Main Site; and 14 proposed projects, totaling approximately 385,000 square feet, at Livermore Lab Site 300.

The Draft SWEIS details proposed operational changes that would increase the tritium emissions limits in the National Ignition Facility (Building 581) and the Tritium Facility (Building 331) and increase the administrative limits for plutonium-239 at Building 235, among other changes with huge significance for both U.S. nuclear weapons policy and environmental pollution for our fenceline communities.

To review the Draft SWEIS documents – Click here.

Tri-Valley CAREs has prepared an essay on international law and disarmament plus specific “Talking Points” on the Draft SWEIS, based on the sections we have read (with page numbers included). They can be accessed here: https://trivalleycares.org/2022/shocking-plans-in-livermore-lab-sweis

We will circulate additional comments in the days ahead as we continue to slog through all 1,408 pages. Stay tuned!

Public comment can also be submitted by email to: LLNLSWEIS@nnsa.doe.gov

Or comments can be submitted by writing before 1/3/23 (the current official deadline) to: Ms. Fana Gebeyehu-Houston, LLNL SWEIS Document Manager, 1000 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20585.

We are also available to further assist with public comments, so feel free to email us.

  • Raiza Marciscano-Bettis, bilingual community organizer, for assistance with Spanish translation or to answer your questions in Spanish – raiza@trivalleycares.org

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