March 31, 2022
Our sincere apology for the March 30 dust incident
Fermilab apologizes and shares the concerns of the city and the public and we recognized there was a problem. Fermilab made the decision to shut down the operation of the rock conveyor, and we are working with SDSTA and the City of Lead to ensure our operations meet expectations. While the LBNF/DUNE project was discharging rock the morning of Wednesday, March 30, 2022, dust was deposited in the Manuel Brothers Park. Sustained winds were above 15 mph and the conveyor should not have been running according to the controls that have been put in place. Fermilab is conducting a thorough investigation of what happened on Wednesday in addition to re-evaluating and updating all operating controls and implementing additional training to ensure this does not happen again. Corrective actions and a timeline will be developed as part of the investigation. Crews cleaned the park on Wednesday and Thursday and will continue to monitor the cleanliness of the park.
Fermilab is determined to identify the best solutions to resolve the problem. Numerous controls have already been implemented and others are still under consideration. We will continue to inform the public and update them regularly as new ideas arise and others are deemed not feasible. The current number of options under consideration is 15.