Neutrinos, Antimatter and the Big Bang: NEPA Environmental Assessment for Fermilab Proton Improvement Project

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Neutrinos, Antimatter and the Big Bang: NEPA Environmental Assessment for Fermilab Proton Improvement Project

Neutrinos are among the most abundant particles in the universe, a billion times more abundant than the particles that make up stars, planets and people. Although neutrinos are streaming through us and all other matter, they interact so rarely with other matter that they are very difficult to observe. Neutrinos can shift from one form to another over long distance in a process called neutrino oscillation. Understanding neutrino oscillations is the key to understanding neutrinos and their role in the formation of the universe. Central to this understanding are the experiments performed by Fermilab, the premier particle physics laboratory in the United States.

As senior consultant and NEPA advisor, ASA is working with Fermilab and an external consulting team to prepare a NEPA EA for a major upgrade and replacement of Fermilab’s linear accelerator. The Proton Improvement Project, or PIP-II, will enable Fermilab to generate and deliver one of the most powerful proton beams to drive existing and planned neutrino science experiments.

One of the most critical and important planned experiments is the Long Baseline Neutrino Facility-Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (LBNF/DUNE) which when constructed, will direct neutrino beamline 800 miles through the earth from Fermilab to a neutrino detector nearly 1-mile underground in Lead, South Dakota. As part of ASA’s role on PIP-II and LBNF/DUNE we are assisting the Fermilab team with the development of the NEPA Purpose & Need statement, developing and screening of Alternatives, prioritization of environmental impact concerns, and response to public comments on the Proposed Action and associated environmental impacts.

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