WASHINGTON – The Department of Energy (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and cooperating agencies will hold a public meeting Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024, from 4-7 pm, regarding the Los Alamos National Laboratory Electrical Power Capacity Upgrade Project Draft Environmental Assessment (DOE/EA-2199) (EA), and will hold a second public comment period for the document.
The public meeting will take place at Santa Fe Community College, Room 216, West Wing, 6401 Richards Ave., Santa Fe, NM, 87508. The meeting will start with a poster information session at 4 p.m., followed at 4:30 pm by a presentation on the draft EA and a comment period.
A hybrid option is available for the meeting and will start at 4:30 pm. The link to the virtual meeting is: http://tinyurl.com/LANLEPCUEA
Meeting ID: 228 221 321 784 Passcode: VjHXeB
To join the meeting by telephone, call: 719-283-1404 Phone Conference ID: 386 130 995#
The first official comment period opened on Dec. 19, 2023, and runs through Jan. 17, 2024. The cooperating agencies determined a second 30-day comment period is warranted based on multiple factors, including community concerns recently raised about the timing of the current comment period. The second comment period will be open from Jan. 22, 2024, for 30 days calculated with the publication of the legal notice in the newspaper of record. The comment period will close Feb. 20, 2024.
This second comment period will allow for greater public involvement and meaningful participation by interested parties. All written comments submitted during the official comment periods will be considered. Interested parties must submit specific comments during an official comment period in order to raise an issue during a future objection period under Forest Service regulations.
The draft EA was prepared in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF), and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Taos Field Office. NNSA announced on Nov. 16, 2023, the availability and comment period for the draft EA.
The draft EA includes proposed amendments to the 2022 Forest Plan for the Santa Fe National Forest that would allow for the designation of a utility corridor. The draft EA analyzes the construction and operation of a new 115 kilovolt (kV) power transmission line and upgrading LANL’s existing electrical infrastructure. LANL requires a reliable and redundant electrical power supply to support mission programs and other activities conducted at LANL facilities. Electrical power supply forecasts project that existing transmission lines that serve LANL and Los Alamos County will reach capacity before 2030, jeopardizing DOE/NNSA’s electrical power supply to meet mission requirements.
The draft EA provides sufficient evidence and analysis for determining whether to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the project or to issue a Finding of No Significant Impact, in accordance with National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) authorities.
The document is available in the NNSA NEPA Reading Room at: /nnsa/nnsa-nepa-reading-room or directly at /nepa/doeea-2199-los-alamos-national-laboratory-electrical-power-capacity-upgrade-project
Questions, EA and Forest Plan amendment comments, and/or requests for a paper copy of the draft EA may be submitted via U.S. mail to:
NNSA Los Alamos Field Office
ATTN: EPCU Project NEPA
3747 West Jemez Road
Los Alamos, NM 87544
or emailed to: EPCUEA@nnsa.doe.gov
Comments may be submitted to the NNSA Los Alamos Field Office via mail or through the email address listed above or at the public meeting. Comments will not be accepted over the telephone outside of the public meeting. All comments must be received during the official comment periods.