Los Alamos National Laboratory announces strategy for long-term environmental sustainability
- Colleen Curran
- Communications Office
- (505) 664-0344
Blueprint for planning work activities with the environment in mind
LOS ALAMOS, N.M., March 1, 2013—The Department of Energy and Los Alamos National Laboratory have developed a long-term strategy for environmental stewardship and sustainability that provides a blueprint for protecting the environment while accomplishing the Laboratory’s national security missions.
“This plan represents a significant amount of effort on the part of the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Los Alamos Field Office to set the standard for Environmental Stewardship in New Mexico,” said Juan Griego, acting manager of the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Los Alamos Field Office. “It is intended to ensure that all actions undertaken by our office to support the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s mission have first taken environmental protection and stewardship into full consideration.”
The Long-Term Strategy for Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability document presents the long-term environmental goals for the Laboratory and describes how managers can use a range of decision support tools to help them conduct their work in a way that protects the environment.
“The strategy integrates our environmental protection activities into one comprehensive program,” said Pete Maggiore, assistant manager of the Environmental Projects Office for the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Los Alamos Field Office. “It’s designed to help us achieve our three environmental stewardship goals: clean up the past, control the present, and create a sustainable future.”
The strategy document contains details about how Los Alamos will work to protect human and environmental health by:
- Continuing to place a priority on cleaning up environmental contamination from the World War II and Cold War eras.
- Controlling current programs to ensure that any impact to the environment is as low as reasonably achievable.
- Creating a sustainable future through preventing pollution, eliminating waste, conserving energy and water, and fostering resilient ecosystems.
“We understand that the success and viability of the Laboratory depends on maintaining the public’s trust and confidence in our ability to protect human health and the environment,” said Michael Brandt, the Lab’s associate director of Environment, Safety and Health. “It’s our responsibility to ensure that our operations have the least possible impact on the health of people and the environment, as well as on the plants, animals, and cultural resources in our area.”
The document provides managers at Los Alamos with a guide to planning work in a way that safeguards the environment while fulfilling their technical missions.
In addition to the strategy document, Los Alamos created a companion website that allows the public to use interactive applications to select specific locations around the Laboratory and learn about the Lab’s environmental activities at each site.
“We are implementing the strategy through open communication and consultation with our stakeholders,” said program manager John Isaacson. “That process will help us identify overarching strategies to guide our efforts. We will then deploy programs and software applications to support these protective, proactive decisions.”
Project leader Jeanne Fair stressed the comprehensive nature of the strategy. “Complying with environmental regulations is an important part of protecting the environment, but compliance alone doesn’t cover everything. Cooperative planning, envisioning future and uncertain challenges, and researching new solutions will take us well into the future.”
The illustrated strategy document and the website can be found at www.lanl.gov/projects/envplan.
Los Alamos National Laboratory, a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security, is operated by Los Alamos National Security, LLC, a team composed of Bechtel National, the University of California, The Babcock & Wilcox Company, and URS for the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration.
Los Alamos enhances national security by ensuring the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile, developing technologies to reduce threats from weapons of mass destruction, and solving problems related to energy, environment, infrastructure, health, and global security concerns.