The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has authorized the commencement of initial project planning for the Long-Baseline Neutrino Experiment, part of which is an investigation of the potential impacts to human health and the environment. This webpage outlines the Environmental Assessment process for the LBNE project.
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) was signed into law in 1970. It sets forth protection of the environment as a U.S. policy and requires that all federal agencies consider the potential environmental impacts of proposed projects. NEPA establishes a framework to ensure that environmental factors receive appropriate consideration along with economic and technical factors in federal agency decision-making. Accordingly, an Environmental Assessment document will be prepared for the LBNE.
The LBNE project would require the construction of buildings and research facilities at both Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) in Batavia, lllinois, and at the Sanford Underground Research Facility (Sanford Lab) in Lead, South Dakota. Information about the LBNE project and the Environmental Assessment process is being distributed through letters, fact sheets and this website. DOE will hold public informational meetings (all from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.):
With the help of a number of technical experts, including independent consultants assisted by Fermilab and Sanford Lab staff, DOE will prepare an environmental assessment to determine what impacts LBNE construction and operation might have on human health and environment. Documentation will include a statement of project purpose and need, a description of the proposed project and alternatives, a description of the current environment, and an analysis of potential impacts to the air, sound, water, soil, safety, traffic flow and other impact areas. Opportunities to mitigate any negative impacts that may exist would be integrated into the project plans. The project team will present all these aspects in a Draft Environmental Assessment document.
DOE will make the Draft Environmental Assessment document available to stakeholders in print and electronic form. It will be distributed via mail, posted in libraries and public reading rooms and shared through websites, e-mail and other electronic media. In addition, public meetings are planned at Fermilab and at a central location in South Dakota, likely during the latter half of 2013, to share the draft. The public will be able to provide comments either at these meetings or by submitting them in writing. The release and distribution of the draft document will include information on the dates of these public meetings and the ways that people can submit comments.
After considering all comments, DOE will prepare a Final Environmental Assessment document. A record of the comments received will be contained within the document.
If the Final Environmental Assessment indicates no significant environmental impacts, DOE will issue a statement known as a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI). DOE will make the Final Environmental Assessment document and the associated FONSI available via mail, libraries and reading rooms as well as electronic media. If the Final Environmental Assessment indicates that potentially significant environmental impacts are likely to occur, a more extensive environmental review, referred to as an Environmental Impact Statement, will be undertaken to more fully explore those impacts. Additional public outreach opportunities would also be planned.
For more information contact: Peter Siebach U.S. Department of Energy (STS) 9800 South Cass Avenue Argonne, IL 60439 Phone: 630-252-2007 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Or send e-mail to the LBNE project team: email@example.com