Environmental Assessment for the High Explosives Wastewater Treatment Facility, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico
Description: The Department of Energy (DOE) has identified a need to improve the management of wastewater resulting from high explosives (HE) research and development work at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). LANL`s current methods off managing HE-contaminated wastewater cannot ensure that discharged HE wastewater would consistently meet the Environmental Protection Agency`s (EPA`s) standards for wastewater discharge. The DOE needs to enhance He wastewater management to e able to meet both present and future regulatory standards for wastewater discharge. The DOE also proposes to incorporate major pollution prevention and waste reduction features into LANL`s existing HE production facilities. Currently, wastewater from HE processing buildings at four Technical Areas (TAs) accumulates in sumps where particulate HE settles out and barium is precipitated. Wastewater is then released from the sumps to the environment at 15 permitted outfalls without treatment. The released water may contain suspended and dissolved contaminants, such as HE and solvents. This Environmental Assessment (EA) analyzes two alternatives, the Proposed Action and the Alternative Action, that would meet the purpose and need for agency action. Both alternatives would treat all HE process wastewater using sand filters to remove HE particulates and activated carbon to adsorb organic solvents and dissolved HE. Under either alternative, LANL would burn solvents and flash dried HE particulates and spent carbon following well-established procedures. Burning would produce secondary waste that would be stored, treated, and disposed of at TA-54, Area J. This report contains the Environmental Assessment, as well as the Finding of No Significant Impact and Floodplain Statement of Findings for the High Explosives Wastewater Treatment Facility.
Date: August 3, 1995
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