The Department of Commerce (DOC) has developed a new master plan and associated environmental assessment for its Boulder Laboratories campus. The master plan provides a framework for the future physical development of the campus in support of the DOC Boulder Laboratories' mission of advancing science and technology. It emphasizes quality and collaborative research with sustainable and efficient operations. In addition to existing and future facilities, the master plan addresses roads and entrances, parking, pedestrian and bicycle access to and through the site, landscape and storm water management, cultural resources, the site utilities infrastructure, energy and water conservation, and sustainability. Agreements with the City of Boulder and Native American Tribes have been respected and all Protected Area, more than 100 acres of open space continues to be preserved.
The final master plan documents current needs as well as projected future requirements, and articulates a vision for sustainable campus development over twenty years through proposed projects grouped into phasing packages. While many of the existing buildings are retained, the master plan includes replacement of laboratories, reuse of an older lab building for a campus center, and a new "campus green" that compliments the stunning view and surroundings. The campus green serves as a connecting element for the buildings and the campus itself, and features an "arroyo" for on-site storm water retention.
An environmental assessment (EA) was prepared in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The EA considers the effects of the "Proposed Action" (the master plan) and a "No Action" alternative on the natural and human environment, and includes proposed mitigation measures for anticipated impacts. DOC has determined that no significant impacts to the environmental conditions of the DOC Boulder Laboratories campus and/or the surrounding community will result from implementation of the Master Plan (Proposed Action).
Actual realization of the master plan, or any specific project within it, will depend on priorities of the Department of Commerce, Congressional and Presidential policy decisions, and federal budgetary decisions.
NIST, with participation from NOAA and NTIA, served as the lead bureau in the development of the master plan and EA. Master planning is the responsibility of the Office of Facilities and Property Management, NIST.
Department of Commerce Boulder Laboratories Campus Master Plan - Aerial View (Credit: Metropolitan Architects & Planners, Inc.)
Draft Master Plan and Draft Environmental Assessment, October 2016
The draft master plan and associated draft environmental assessment (EA) were made available to Federal, State and local agencies, Native American Tribes, interested parties, the general public and DOC Boulder Laboratories staff for review and comment. Comments were accepted from October 19, 2016 through December 5, 2016, and all comments were considered in preparation of the final Master Plan and EA.
Public Meeting, January 2016
A public informational meeting was held on January 12th at the Boulder Public Library Canyon Theater. The purpose of the meeting was to notify the public that the Department of Commerce was preparing an environmental assessment (EA) for the Boulder Laboratories campus master plan in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act, 42 U.S.C. 4321-4347, and to afford the public an opportunity to comment on the scope of the master plan and EA. Written comments were accepted through February 12, 2016. The presentation and handouts are available here:
Information requested at the 1-12-16 public meeting can be found here: