ACTION ALERT: Oppose New Bio-War Lab in California

May 10th, 2007 - by admin

– 2007-05-10 08:45:00

URGENT: The Livermore National Labs located to the east of San Francisco Bay, could become the site of a major bio-warfare facility. The Labs, which have already contaminated the region with radioactive fallout, are located on an active earthquake fault.

Send a comment on the revised Environmental Assessment on or before Friday, May 11, 2007. You may use the text below as your comment. Or, you may edit it as you like and then send it. The important thing is to SEND IT.

If you do use the letter provided below, be sure to include your name and address at the end — and do send it directly to DOE.

Comments can be submitted by by mail, email or fax to — Samuel Brinker, National Environmental Policy Act Document Manager US Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration, Livermore Site Office, M/S L-293, PO Box 808, Livermore, CA 94551-0808. fax: 925/423-5650

Talking Points against the Bio-War Lab
I oppose a bio-warfare research facility (called a BSL-3) at the Livermore Lab main site because:

• Advanced biodefense research (i.e., with bio-warfare agents like live anthrax and plague) should not be collocated with nuclear weapons research. If the US mixes “bugs and bombs,” it could complicate enforcement of the Biological Weapons Convention, the international treaty banning bio-weapons.

• Livermore Lab sits within a 50-mile radius of seven million people. This highly populated area is not an appropriate place to conduct experiments with some of the deadliest agents known.

• Livermore Lab is located near active earthquake fault lines. The BSL-3 is a portable building that was brought to Livermore Lab on a truck. This BSL-3 should not be operated in a seismically active area. The revised Environmental Assessment states that new research by the USGS has determined there is a 62% chance that one or more magnitude 6.7 earthquakes will occur in the area within the next 30 years. Other studies predict a quake with MM 10 shaking in the Livermore area (which is very violent — the scale is 1 to 10). The revised EA briefly mentions these key facts, but does not fully account for them in conducting its hazard analysis.

• The revised Environmental Assessment does not do an adequate job of analyzing potential terrorist threats. For example, it too optimistically assumes that most bio-agents would be destroyed in a terrorist attack, and therefore not many would escape into the environment and pose a hazard to workers and the community.

• The revised Environmental Assessment does not analyze the environmental and health impacts of a release of the BSL-3’s total inventory of up to 100 liters of bio-warfare agents. In fact, the revised EA fails to even disclose that other Livermore Lab and Department of Energy documents state the BSL-3 facility will house up 25,000 different samples of pathogens adding up to a total of 100 liters of bioagents at a time. Therefore, the hazard level posed by the Livermore Lab BSL-3 is far, far greater than the revised EA considers.

• The revised Environmental Assessment suggests that a potential terrorist would rather try to find dangerous pathogens in nature than attempt to steal them in larger, more concentrated quantities from the Livermore Lab BSL-3. That assumption is absurd.

• The Department of Energy (DOE) should hold a public hearing so that the public can learn more about this plan and provide oral comments. So far, the number of public hearings that DOE has held on this important issue is ZERO.

• The 30-day written comment period (which ends May 11, 2007) is too short. Most area residents and other interested members of the public don’t know about the comment period. It has not been widely publicized by the Department of Energy or Livermore Lab. Therefore, people are being deprived of their right to comment.

• The written comment deadline should be extended for a minimum of one additional month (to June 11). And, a public hearing (see above) should occur within the extended public comment deadline.

• Please send me verification that you have received these comments and that they will be included in the record.

My Additional Comments:




City/State/Zip Code:

____ I DO want a copy of the final revised EA sent to me.

___ I DO NOT want a copy of the final revised EA sent to me. Send me only the web url. Thank you.

• Thank you,
Marylia Kelley, Executive Director
Tri-Valley CAREs 2582 Old First Street Livermore, CA 94551
Ph: (925) 443-7148 Fx: (925) 443-0177 Web: or