The DHS Office of the Chief Readiness Support Officer is seeking comments from Federal, State, local agencies, Tribes, and individuals who may be interested in or affected by the proposed El Paso Supplemental Environmental Assessment (SEA). The proposed project consists of construction, operation, and maintenance of a Joint Processing Center (JPC) and demobilization of an existing Central Processing Center (CPC) on a 59-acre parcel owned by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in El Paso, El Paso County, Texas. CBP previously analyzed the construction of a permanent CPC within the same parcel in the Final Environmental Assessment for a New Central Processing Facility, U.S. Border Patrol, El Paso Sector, Texas, published in July 2020. However, due to a surge in migrants that required processing, two temporary soft-sided processing facilities (SSFs) were installed. They are currently located within the parcel and support CBP efforts to process, care for, and transfer migrants and refugees.
The purpose of the Proposed Action is to construct, operate, and maintain a permanent JPC and demobilize one SSF to relieve crowding in existing DHS facilities and support humanitarian efforts along the U.S. southwestern border, such as ensuring the security, placement, and successful transition of migrants and refuges. The Proposed Action is needed to efficiently process migrants and ease overcrowding at existing processing centers. The existing SSFs are costly and inadequately equipped to accommodate the increasing number of migrants. The Proposed Action would allow multiple DHS Components to operate at the same location. A draft SEA has been prepared that analyses the potential environmental impacts of the project pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). DHS would like to solicit public input or comments on the Draft SEA and the Draft Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI), which will be available for a 30-day public comment period from August 25, 2023, through September 24, 2023. Comments on the Draft SEA and Draft FONSI can be submitted by emailing BPAMNEPA@cbp.dhs.gov. Comments on the Draft SEA and Draft FONSI may also be submitted via mail to:
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Office of Facilities and Asset Management
Attn: John Petrilla
1331 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Suite 1555N
Mail Stop 1102
Washington, DC 20229-1102