Notice of Availability
Final Supplemental Environmental Assessment for
Construction, Operation, and Maintenance of a New Joint Processing Center in El Paso,
El Paso County, Texas
Description: Interested parties are hereby notified that the United States (U.S.) Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has prepared a Final Supplemental Environmental Assessment (SEA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the Proposed Action described below.
Statutory Authority: This notice is being issued to all interested parties in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, Council on Environmental Quality Regulations (40 Code of Federal Regulations Parts 1500-1508), and DHS Directive 023-01, Rev. 01 (Implementation of NEPA).
Proposed Action: DHS proposes the 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 U.S. 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 refugees. 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.
The Final SEA evaluates the potential environmental, cultural, socioeconomic, and physical impacts of two action alternatives and the No Action Alternative. Alternative 1 would implement the Proposed Action as described. Alternative 2 would incorporate net-zero technologies into the Proposed Action. The Final SEA concludes there would be no significant adverse impact to the environment or quality of life as a result of implementing the Proposed Action, provided best management practices specified in the SEA are implemented.
Public Review: The Draft SEA and Draft FONSI were made available for a public review period between August 25, 2023, and September 24, 2023, to solicit public input or comments. No public comments were received.
Availability: The Final SEA and FONSI can be accessed online at www.dhs.gov/nepa. Printed copies of the Final SEA and FONSI are also available at the El Paso Public Library Richard Burges Branch, 9600 Dyer Street, El Paso, TX 79924.