EL PASO, TX – Alejandro N. Mayorkas, minister of Homeland Security, has authorized U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to proceed with activities necessary to meet the life, safety, environmental and rehabilitation requirements of the border barrier projects located in the San Diego, Yuma and El Paso sectors.
The projects will close or remediate those turned over to DHS by the Department of Defense (DoD) military construction appropriation. The DHS Plan and associated Plan Amendment authorized the use of prior year border barrier funds for rehabilitation work at former DoD 2808 project sites.
Although the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ensured that DoD contractors made their work sites safe, if left incomplete or unresolved, conditions at these sites create potential safety risks for CBP personnel and surrounding communities and pose a potential risk of flooding and property damage to communities and landowners.
According to DHS, CBP intends to prioritize remediation projects necessary to address life and safety concerns – including protecting individuals, USBP agents, and nearby communities from potential harm – and prevent damage or degradation to the environment.
Activities include, among others, completing and/or installing drainage to prevent flooding; installing and completing permanent erosion control and slope stabilization measures to ensure the safety and stability of structures in the region.
In addition, it contemplates pre-construction of patrol, maintenance and access roads by adding guardrails, signage and integrating existing roads to address safety concerns; as well as remediating temporary use areas such as laydown areas, haul roads and project areas affected by construction.
The type of work required will vary by sector. Within the El Paso and Yuma Sectors it will include closing small gaps and installing incomplete gates, including seven open vehicle accesses in the Yuma Sector and one more in the El Paso Sector.
Prior to the work, DHS will work closely with stakeholders, including affected landowners, tribal, state and local elected officials, and federal agencies to seek input and assistance in prioritizing potential remediation activities within each sector.
As this is a top priority, DHS will act as expeditiously as possible while maintaining environmental protection, including actions consistent with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
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