Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas has authorized U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to move forward with activities necessary to address life, safety, environmental, and remediation requirements for border barrier projects located within the U.S. Border Patrol’s San Diego, Yuma, and El Paso Sectors.
The projects will close out or remediate those turned over to DHS by the Department of Defense’s (DoD) military construction appropriation pursuant to 10 U.S.C. § 2808. The DHS Plan and associated Plan Amendment authorized the use of prior year border barrier funds for remediation work at the former DoD 2808 project sites. While the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ensured that DoD contractors made their work sites safe, if left incomplete or unaddressed, conditions at these locations create potential safety risks to CBP personnel and surrounding communities and pose a potential risk of flooding and property damage to communities and landowners. They also create a risk of environmental degradation related to lack of proper grading, erosion control measures, and slope stabilization.
CBP intends to prioritize remediation projects needed to address life and safety issues – including the protection of individuals, USBP Agents, and nearby communities from potential harm – and avert environmental damage or degradation.
Activities include but are not limited to:
- 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.
- Completing prior construction of patrol, maintenance, and access roads by adding guardrails, signage, and integrating existing roadways to address safety concerns.
- Remediating temporary use areas such as staging areas, haul roads, and project areas impacted by construction.
- Disposing of residual materials not required for completion of the work as identified above.
- Closing small gaps and installing gates that were only partially installed or incomplete
The type of work that is required will vary by Sector. Work within the El Paso and Yuma Sectors will include closing small gaps and installing incomplete gates, including seven open vehicle gate gaps in the Yuma Sector and one monument gate gap in the El Paso Sector.
Prior to work, DHS will work closely with stakeholders, including impacted landowners, tribal, state, and local elected officials, and federal agencies to seek input and help on prioritizing potential remediation activities within each Sector. As this is a top priority, DHS will move as expeditiously as possible, while still maintaining environmental stewardship including actions consistent with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
The dedicated professionals at CBP serve at the highest standard of federal law enforcement, working to enhance our nation’s security while facilitating legitimate trade and travel. This project is reflective of that dedication and the commitment of CBP to ensuring the health, safety, and welfare of communities along the border and individuals encountered there.
This project supports DHS’s priority to continue to deploy modern, effective border measures and also improving safety and security along the southwest border.