Environmental Assessment

Public comment period for the Environmental Assessment of the PIP-II particle accelerator project at Fermilab

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has authorized the commencement of initial project planning for the PIP-II particle accelerator project at Fermilab. The project would require the construction of buildings and research facilities on the Fermilab site in Batavia, Illinois. The project planning includes the investigation of potential impacts to human health and the environment.

On October 15, 2018, the U.S. Department of Energy issued a press release and released its Draft Environmental Assessment. DOE invites interested citizens to review and comment on the possible environmental impacts of building and operating PIP-II.

The public comment period runs from October 15, 2018, to November 15, 2018.

View the Draft Environmental Assessment document in pdf format.

There are two ways people can comment on the draft document:

  • By U.S. Mail: PIP-II Comments, U.S. Department of Energy, Fermi Site Office, P.O. Box 2000, Batavia, IL 60510;
  • By sending email to: pip2.comments@science.doe.gov

About the PIP-II particle accelerator project

This architectural rendering shows the buildings that would house the 700-feet-long PIP-II particle accelerator and related infrastructure. The buildings would be located about 300 feet east of Wilson Hall, the 16-story office building on the Fermilab site.

The Proton Improvement Plan II, or PIP-II, is an upgrade to the existing proton accelerator complex at Fermilab. It will provide increased beam power to generate an unprecedented stream of neutrinos — subatomic particles that could unlock our understanding of the universe — and enable a broad program of physics research for many years to come.

The centerpiece of the PIP-II project is the construction of a new superconducting radio-frequency linear accelerator, which will become the initial stage of the upgraded Fermilab accelerator chain. The plan is to install the new accelerator in a roughly 700-foot-long tunnel about 25 feet underground.

The new accelerator will double the beam energy of its predecessor from 400 million to 800 million electronvolts. That boost will enable the Fermilab accelerator complex to achieve megawatt-scale beam power.

More information about PIP-II is available on this website as well as in the Draft Environmental Assessment Document.

About the Draft Environmental Assessment

With the help of a number of technical experts, DOE has prepared a Draft Environmental Assessment to determine what impacts the construction and operation of PIP-II might have on human health and the environment. The final document will include a statement of project purpose and need, a description of the proposed project and alternatives, a description of the current environment, and an analysis of potential impacts to the air, sound, water, soil, safety, traffic flow and other areas. The project team is presenting drafts of all these aspects in the Draft Environmental Assessment document.

Decision-making

If the Final Environmental Assessment indicates no significant environmental impacts, DOE will issue a statement known as a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI). DOE will make the Final Environmental Assessment document and the associated FONSI available via mail, libraries and reading rooms as well as electronic media. Opportunities to mitigate any negative impacts that may exist would be integrated into the project plans. If the Final Environmental Assessment indicates that potentially significant environmental impacts are likely to occur, a more extensive environmental review, referred to as an Environmental Impact Statement, will be undertaken to more fully explore those impacts. Additional public outreach opportunities would also be planned.

About the Environmental Assessment process

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) was signed into law in 1970. It sets forth protection of the environment as a U.S. policy and requires that all federal agencies consider the potential environmental impacts of proposed projects. NEPA establishes a framework to ensure that environmental factors receive appropriate consideration along with economic and technical factors in federal agency decision-making. Accordingly, an Environmental Assessment document is being prepared for the PIP-II project.

More information

For more information:

Rick Hersemann
NEPA Compliance Officer
U.S. Department of Energy

Fermi Site Office
Batavia, IL 60510
Phone: (630) 840-4122

Email: rick.hersemann@science.doe.gov