skip to main content

Title: Environmental Assessment for Proposed Access Control and Traffic Improvements at Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico

The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has assigned a continuing role to Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in carrying out NNSA's national security mission. It is imperative that LANL continue this enduring responsibility and that NNSA adequately safeguard LANL capabilities. NNSA has identified the need to restrict vehicular access to certain areas within LANL for the purpose of permanently enhancing the physical security environment at LANL. It has also identified the need to change certain traffic flow patterns for the purpose of enhancing physical safety at LANL. The Proposed Action would include the construction of eastern and western bypass roads around the LANL Technical Area (TA) 3 area and the installation of vehicle access controls and related improvements to enhance security along Pajarito Road and in the LANL core area. This Proposed Action would modify the current roadway network and traffic patterns. It would also result in traversing Areas of Environmental Interest identified in the LANL Habitat Management Plan, demolition of part of an historic structure at Building 3-40, and traversing several potential release sites and part of the Los Alamos County landfill. The No Action Alternative was also considered. Under this alternative NNSA would not construct the eastern ormore » western bypass roads, any access-control stations, or related improvements. Diamond Drive would continue to serve as the primary conduit for most vehicle traffic within the LANL core area regardless of actual trip destinations. The No Action Alternative does not meet NNSA's purpose and need for action. The proposed bypass road corridors traverse both developed and undeveloped areas. Several potential release sites are present. These would either be sampled and remediated in accordance with New Mexico Environment Department requirements before construction or avoided to allow for future remediation. In some cases, contaminant levels may fall below remediation thresholds and the Environmental Restoration Project would set requirements for workers. Structural bridges would be used to span canyons that are Areas of Environmental Interest because they include habitat for threatened and endangered species, or because they are 100-year floodplains or wetlands. Traffic congestion is not expected to increase once construction is completed. The Proposed Action would allow for a flexible approach to vehicle access controls in response to security conditions. Traffic safety within LANL would improve because access control would screen out drivers without a need to be in the LANL TA-3 area or along Pajarito Road. There would be adequate parking for University of California personnel and construction workers. Construction and demolition wastes would be transported to a licensed commercial landfill or recycled for other construction projects at LANL or offsite. Construction for the proposed bypass roads would be expected to produce only temporary and localized air and noise emissions. The Proposed Action would have no effects on visual resources, land use, socioeconomics, or environmental justice. The roadways would be designed to accommodate geologic and soil conditions. The demolition of part of Building 3-40 could have an adverse effect on historic structures since it is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places and, therefore, a treatment plan would be negotiated between NNSA and the State Historic Preservation Office.« less
Authors:
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
823553
Report Number(s):
DOE/EA-1429
TRN: US200427%%639
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Resource Relation:
Other Information: PBD: 23 Aug 2002
Research Org:
U.S. Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration, Los Alamos Site Office (US)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of NEPA Policy and Assistance (EH-42) (US)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
45 MILITARY TECHNOLOGY, WEAPONRY, AND NATIONAL DEFENSE; CONSTRUCTION; DEMOLITION; ENDANGERED SPECIES; HABITAT; LAND USE; NATIONAL SECURITY; PERSONNEL; PRESERVATION; SAFEGUARDS; SAFETY; SANITARY LANDFILLS; SCREENS; SECURITY; SOILS; WASTES; WETLANDS EA; LOS ALAMOS; NM; LOS ALAMOS COUNTY LANDFILL; BYPASS ROADS; LANL TECHNICAL AREA; TA 3 AREA; VEHICLE ACCESS CONTROLS