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NEPA fact sheet
Click to see a fact sheet explaining the NEPA process, including a flowchart.

Welcome to the National Nuclear Security Administration’s National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Reading Room. This site serves as a focal point for NNSA NEPA implementation and will contain information about past and current NNSA NEPA actions as well as other resources for NEPA practitioners and members of the public.

 

Open for Public Comment

Draft EIS for Plutonium Pit Production at the Savannah River Site

NNSA is making a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Plutonium Pit Production at the Savannah River Site (SRS) in South Carolina (SRS Pit Production EIS) (DOE/EIS-0541) available for public review and comment. NNSA prepared the draft SRS Pit Production EIS to evaluate the potential environmental impacts of producing a minimum of 50 pits per year at SRS and developing the ability to implement a short-term surge capacity to enable NNSA to meet the requirements of producing pits at a rate of not less than 80 pits per year beginning during 2030 for the nuclear weapons stockpile. The draft SRS Pit Production EIS is an important element of the overall NEPA strategy related to fulfilling national requirements for plutonium pit production. DOE announced this NEPA strategy on June 10, 2019 (84 FR 26849).

NNSA invites Federal and state agencies, state and local governments, Native American tribes, industry, other organizations, and members of the public to submit comments on the draft EIS through May 18, 2020.

In light of recent public health concerns, NNSA will be hosting an internet- and phone-based, virtual public hearing in place of an in-person meeting. Notice of the date and time, and information related to the virtual public hearing including internet and telephone access details and instructions on how to participate, will be posted on this page and announced in local media outlets. NNSA will hold the hearing no earlier than 15 days from the posting of the notice on this website.

Written comments on the Draft EIS should be submitted no later than May 18, 2020, and sent to:

Mail:        Ms. Jennifer Nelson, NEPA Compliance Officer

                National Nuclear Security Administration, Savannah River Field Office

                P.O. Box A

                Aiken, SC 29802

Or Email:    NEPA-SRS@srs.gov

Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, please be advised that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available. If you wish for NNSA to withhold your name and/or other personally identifiable information, please state this prominently at the beginning of your comment. You may also submit comments anonymously.

The draft SRS Pit Production EIS is available here for your review.

NNSA’s Federal Register (FR) Notice of Availability (NOA) is available here for your review.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) NOA in the Federal Register is available here for your review.

For more information on the SRS Pit Production EIS, please visit this page.

Draft SA of the 2008 SWEIS for Continued Operations of Los Alamos National Laboratory

NNSA is making a draft Supplement Analysis (SA) of the 2008 Site-wide Environmental Impact Statement (SWEIS) for Continued Operations of Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) available for public review and comment. NNSA is preparing the SA to determine whether, prior to proceeding with the action to produce plutonium pits at a rate of no fewer than 30 pits per year no later than during 2026, the existing 2008 SWEIS for Continued Operations of LANL should be supplemented, a new environmental impact statement prepared, or no further National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis is required. Resources needed for pit production at LANL include construction of additional infrastructure, expansion of the work force, waste management operations, and transportation. The draft SA is an important element of the overall NEPA strategy related to fulfilling national requirements for plutonium pit production. DOE announced this NEPA strategy on June 10, 2019 (84 FR 26849).

NNSA invites Federal and state agencies, state and local governments, Native American tribes, industry, other organizations, and members of the public to submit comments on the draft SA through April 24, 2020.

Written comments on the Draft SA should be submitted no later than April 24, 2020 and sent to:

Mail:     NNSA Los Alamos Field Office

             Comments:  LANL SWEIS SA

             3747 West Jemez Road

             Los Alamos, NM 87544

Or Email:    lanlsweissa@nnsa.doe.gov, Subject line LANL SWEIS SA comment

Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, please be advised that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available. If you wish for NNSA to withhold your name and/or other personally identifiable information, please state this prominently at the beginning of your comment. You may also submit comments anonymously.

The draft SA of the 2008 SWEIS for Continued Operations of LANL is available here for your review.

More information on the 2008 SWEIS for Continued Operations of LANL is available here.

 

NEPA Terminology
  • Environmental Assessment (EA) - A concise public document that a Federal agency prepares under NEPA to provide sufficient evidence and analysis to determine whether a proposed agency action would require preparation of an environmental impact statement or a finding of no significant impact.
  • Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) - The detailed written statement that is required by section 102(2)(C) of NEPA for a proposed major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment.
  • Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) - A public document issued by a Federal agency briefly presenting the reasons why an action for which the agency has prepared an environmental assessment will not have a significant effect on the human environment and, therefore, will not require preparation of an environmental impact statement.
  • A Floodplain and Wetland Assessment is an evaluation that DOE prepares under DOE Floodplain and Wetland Environmental Review Requirements (10 CFR Part 1022) consisting of a description of a proposed action, a discussion of its potential effects on the floodplain or wetland, and consideration of alternatives. A Floodplain Statement of Findings is a brief document issued pursuant to 10 CFR 1022.14 that describes the results of the floodplain assessment.
  • A Mitigation Action Plan is a document DOE prepares in accordance with DOE NEPA regulations (10 CFR 1021.331) that describes the plan for implementing commitments made in a DOE environmental impact statement and its associated record of decision, or, when appropriate, an EA or FONSI, to mitigate adverse environmental impacts associated with an action.
  • Notice of Availability (NOA) is a formal notice, published in the Federal Register, that announces the issuance and public availability of a draft or final EIS. The Environmental Protection Agency NOA is the official public notification of an EIS; a DOE NOA is an optional notice used to provide information to the public.
  • Notice of Intent (NOI) is a formal announcement of intent to prepare an EIS as defined in Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) NEPA regulations (40 CFR 1508.22). DOE publishes NOIs in the Federal Register in accordance with DOE NEPA regulations (10 CFR 1021.311). On rare occasions we may produce and issue an Advance NOI which means a formal public notice of DOE's intent to prepare an EIS, which is published in advance of an NOI in order to facilitate public involvement in the NEPA process.
  • Programmatic NEPA document means a broad-scope EIS (PEIS) or EA that identifies and assesses the environmental impacts of a DOE program; it may also refer to an associated NEPA document, such as an NOI, ROD, or FONSI.
  • A Record of Decision (ROD) is a concise public document that records a Federal agency's decision(s) concerning a proposed action for which the agency has prepared an environmental impact statement (See CEQ and DOE NEPA regulations at 40 CFR 1505.2 and 10 CFR 1021.315, respectively).
  • Scoping means the process described at 40 CFR 1501.7; “public scoping process” refers to that portion of the scoping process where the public is invited to participate, as described at 40 CFR 1501.7 (a)(1) and (b)(4).
  • Site-wide NEPA document means a broad-scope EIS (SWEIS) or EA that is programmatic in nature and identifies and assesses the individual and cumulative impacts of ongoing and reasonably foreseeable future actions at a DOE site; Site-wide may also refer to an associated NEPA document, such as an NOI, ROD, or FONSI.
  • Supplement Analysis (SA) means a DOE document used to determine whether a supplemental EIS should be prepared pursuant to 40 CFR 1502.9(c), or to support a decision to prepare a new EIS.
  • Supplemental EIS (SEIS) means an EIS prepared to supplement a prior EIS as provided at 40 CFR 1502.9(c).

For more information about the NEPA law and guidance, please go to this page.

For more information about NNSA NEPA documents, please contact NEPA@nnsa.doe.gov.