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From the Field: "Going Green" at CBP

The Border Patrol is truly “going green,” and we’re not just talking about our uniforms. Our new El Paso Station boasts several eco-friendly values. For example:

  • Approximately 80 percent of all construction materials are certified recyclable.
  • The building is 50% more energy efficient than a building constructed with standard methods.
  • Minimal amounts of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) were used in the sealants, paints, carpets and related materials.
  • All new furniture is certified to contain low VOCs.
  • Water used to wash vehicles will be 100% recycled.

Over time, the energy efficiencies at the new El Paso Station will save taxpayer dollars by lowering operational costs. For example, we expect to save approximately 25% on annual electric usage by using state-of-the-art energy-saving technologies, such as skylights, occupancy sensor lights, solar panels, reflective roofing, and LED lights.

The solar panels alone will generate around 12% of our yearly energy needs.

Of course no building would truly be “green” if we didn’t take into account the local ecosystem. To help accomplish this, we moved more than 50 local cacti before the groundbreaking, then replanted and incorporated them into the building landscaping.

Two hawk towers were also constructed to welcome back any displaced hawks affected by the construction.

We’re working hard at CBP to make sure that every tax dollar is spent wisely. Green buildings stand right in line with Secretary Napolitano's leadership on these issues - saving taxpayers' money and creating a more efficient, sustainable department.

Steven

Steven Cribby is an Operations Officer for the United States Border Patrol.

Published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
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