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DOE: Expanding capabilities at the INL ranges won’t have significant impact on environment

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IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Idaho Operations Office has determined that expanding the capabilities at Idaho National Laboratory's (INL's) National Security Test Range and Radiological Response Training Range will not have a significant impact on the environment.

In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the department Tuesday issued a final Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact that allows expansion of the capabilities of each range - allowing for the installation of permanent structures and utilities, an increase in the frequency of range activities, and an increase in testing capabilities.

The NEPA finding enables both ranges to continue supporting the growing need for training increasing numbers of first responders from defense and homeland security organizations who are charged with safeguarding the public and protecting U.S. national security.

It enables an increase in the testing capabilities at each range - allowing for the use of unmanned aerial systems, additional explosive materials and additional radioisotopes for testing and training purposes.

DOE plans to equip each range with permanent infrastructure which may include offices, classrooms, and conference rooms, restroom and kitchen facilities. Fixed utility infrastructure providing electricity, roadways, testing pads and fencing are also planned.

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