NNSA Los Alamos Field Office To Assess installation of Fiber Optic Cable to LANL



The Department of Energy (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Los Alamos Field Office is preparing a Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Construction and Operation of a Second Fiber Optic Circuit Route to Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).

The EA will analyze the proposed construction and operation of a redundant fiber optic circuit originating at the transition of Santa Fe County Road 62 to Forest Route 24 to the terminus serving both Los Alamos County and Los Alamos National Laboratory and the No Action Alternative. Currently there is only a single fiber optic line that serves and transmits voice, data, and internet services to the County and LANL. The proposed second fiber optic line would provide the same level of service while adding protection from service interruption due to a potential failure in one of the lines.

The entire project would require the installation of approximately 16 miles of new fiber optic cable and supporting infrastructure on lands managed or owned by the DOE, United States Forest Service, New Mexico Department of Transportation, and private landowners in Los Alamos County. The impacts analysis will include the identification and analysis of potential effects, if any, to biological resources including Federal species protected under the Endangered Species Act and state protected species; cultural resources in compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act; floodplains and wetlands as defined in Executive Orders 11988 and 11990, respectively; and viewsheds.

The purpose of the EA is to provide sufficient evidence and analysis for determining whether to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement or to issue a Finding of No Significant Impact. NNSA will provide stakeholders and the public with a 14-day opportunity to review and comment on the draft EA prior to issuance of the final EA and decision document.

The draft EA is expected to be issued in the spring of 2019 at which time the public will be notified of the document’s availability and location.