Nov. 2, 2011

Annual environmental report finds no adverse impact

LIVERMORE - Environmental monitoring of operations at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in 2010 indicates no adverse impact to public health or the environment from Laboratory operations. The findings are presented in the Laboratory's Sitewide Annual Environmental Report 2010 .

The report documents LLNL's continuing commitment to responsible stewardship of the environmental resources in its care. The report explains how the Lab integrates environmental stewardship into strategic planning and decision-making processes through the Lab's Environmental Management System. The report assesses the impact of LLNL operations on public health and the environment, summarizes the Lab's regulatory compliance with environmental standards and requirements, describes LLNL's environmental protection and remediation programs, and records results of environmental monitoring for the main Laboratory site, as well as for Site 300, the Laboratory's experimental test facility near Tracy, Calif.

The Lab has extensive, comprehensive, state-of-the-art monitoring systems that are used to assess air, water, vegetation, foodstuff, soil and wastewater on site and in surrounding communities. In addition, the report documents the substantial actions the Laboratory has taken to comply with federal, state and local environmental laws, including the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and National Environmental Policy Act, among others.

The following is a summary of findings in Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's Environmental Report 2010. The complete report may be accessed on the Web. It also is available in the environmental sections of the Livermore and Tracy public libraries.
  • Environmental management -- In 2010, the Laboratory was certified to the ISO 14001:2004 standard. This standard specifies requirements for an environmental management system enabling an organization to develop and implement a policy and objectives that take into account legal requirements and other requirements.
  • Air monitoring -- Air at the Laboratory and throughout the Livermore Valley and in the Tracy area is monitored by some 70 instruments at 38 separate locations. In 2010, radionuclide and beryllium concentrations in air were well below the levels that cause concern for the environment or public health.
  • Water monitoring/groundwater remediation -- Data show LLNL has good control of its discharges to the sanitary sewer, and the measurements of discharges to surface water indicate that LLNL's best management practices for storm water pollution prevention are effective. At both the Livermore site and at Site 300 remediation activities continued to remove contaminants from groundwater and soil vapor that resulted from past operations.
  • Terrestrial radiological monitoring -- The impact of LLNL operations on surface soil in 2010 was insignificant.
  • Biota -- The Laboratory studies, preserves and attempts to improve the habitat of five animal and plant species at Site 300 that are covered by the federal or California Endangered Species Acts, as well as species that are rare and otherwise of special interest. The Laboratory meets the requirements of federal and state regulatory acts covering endangered or sensitive natural resources.
  • Radiological dose -- Annual radiological doses from emissions at the Livermore site and at Site 300 in 2010 were found to be well below the regulatory limit for radiation protection of the public.