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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the LRDP

Aerial view of Berkeley Lab and San Francisco BayLawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) is a multi-program energy research laboratory operated and managed by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Started in 1931, it moved to its present site above the UC Berkeley campus in 1940.

January 2007

Why is Berkeley Lab preparing a Long Range Development Plan (LRDP)?
University of California campuses, and Berkeley Lab, are required to maintain and periodically update their Long Range Development Plans (LRDP). In support of the Lab’s scientific and technological mission, the LRDP is a planning document designed to establish a general direction for land use, growth, and other physical development over several years.Concurrent with the LRDP, Berkeley Lab is preparing an Environmental Impact Report (EIR), which is required for physical planning efforts, to fully analyze possible changes and their potential impacts.

When was the last LRDP completed?
Berkeley Lab’s existing LRDP and EIR were approved by the UC Regents in 1987. The EIR and LRDP were later amended in 1992 and 1997.

How long is the period covered by an LRDP?
Berkeley Lab’s new LRDP extends approximately 20 years, to 2025.

How does the LRDP support the Lab’s primary areas of research?
Berkeley Lab is a multidisciplinary institution that specializes in the physical, biological, computing and energy sciences. The future of research depends on functional facilities appropriate for future uses, and the LRDP anticipates refinements to current land use as well as demolition and construction of facilities.

When can community members comment on the LRDP?
The LRDP and Draft EIR were published and made available for public review on Jan. 22, 2007. The publication of the Draft EIR also begins a public comment period, during which the Lab will hold a public hearing. Written questions or comments regarding the planning and environmental review may be sent to the Lab during the official public comment period, which will be recorded and addressed in the final report.

Does the Lab’s research include weapons development?
Berkeley Lab is a basic energy sciences research laboratory. It has no design or testing facilities for weapons. Its work is unclassified.

What is Berkeley Lab’s long range plan to protect the environment?
The Lab is responsible for providing environmental stewardship of its site. Periodic and standardized monitoring of the air, groundwater, surface water, and soil ensures that the Lab is respecting and protecting the environment. The Lab prepares annual site environmental reports that demonstrate compliance with applicable regulatory requirements.

How does Berkeley Lab support surrounding communities?
The Lab invests significant money, scientific advances, training and education in the region. Each year, approximately $1 billion cycles through the national economy, via the Lab’s operation, local purchasing, employees’ spending, and the induced economic development from Laboratory activities. Moreover, thousands of students and teachers have participated in Lab research programs, gaining scientific training and a step toward future careers. The Lab assists in solving local problems, such as using its expertise to upgrade residential and commercial building energy efficiency, providing training in hazards management, and volunteering as science mentors and as involved community members in many areas of civic life.

What are the Lab’s growth projections?
Population: Over the next 20 years, the Lab’s existing average daily population of 4,375 is projected to increase to 5,375, an increase of 1,000 in adjusted daily population. Berkeley Lab’s population, in all of the facilities it occupies, is projected to grow at an average annual rate of 1.1 percent, or approximately 50 people per year, over the next 20 years. Occupied Space: The Lab’s existing 1,760,000 building gross square feet (gsf) will have a projected net increase in occupied building space of 660,000 gross square feet, or 1.8 percent per year increase, over the next 20 years. The Lab proposes to demolish 320,000 gsf that is unsafe or beyond its useful life, and will build an additional 980,000 gsf of occupied building space.Parking: The 2006 LRDP provides for up to 500 new parking spaces over the next 20 years, an average annual increase of 1.1 percent. The Lab will review its transportation program when 375 additional parking spaces have been provided, or at 10 years, whichever comes first.

Where is Berkeley Lab in its LRDP planning process?  
Berkeley Lab began the new long range planning process in 2000, and issued a revised Notice of Preparation (NOP) in 2003. During the past three years, through 2006, the Lab has worked to refine and update information in order to proceed with the environmental review process under the California Environmental Quality Act. The Lab circulated its LRDP and draft EIR on Jan. 22, 2007.

What is the relationship between Berkeley Lab’s LRDP and UC Berkeley’s LRDP?

Berkeley Lab is a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) facility, with its own management structure and federal reporting requirements. The University of California, not its Berkeley campus, manages the Lab under contract with DOE. These entities have separate missions, funding streams, and facilities.Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley are neighbors, and both reside on land owned by the Regents of the University of California. Research initiatives sometimes link the two institutions, and approximately 250 scientists have joint appointments at Berkeley Lab, UC Berkeley or other UC campuses. The Lab has worked closely with UC Berkeley to ensure the combined environmental effects of their respective long range plans will be accurately analyzed and appropriately mitigated.

Contact Information
Information on Berkeley Lab’s LRDP may be found at:
Telephone: 510-486-7292