Notice of Availability of a Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for Northern Border Activities, 57751-57754 [2011-23993]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 180 / Friday, September 16, 2011 / Notices Dated: September 9, 2011. R.E. Day, Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Assistant Commandant for Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Information Technology. [FR Doc. 2011–23754 Filed 9–15–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110–04–P DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Customs and Border Protection Notice of Availability of a Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for Northern Border Activities U.S. Customs and Border Protection, DHS. ACTION: Notice of availability; Request for comments; Notice of public meetings. AGENCY: U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announces that a Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) is now available and open for public comment. The Draft PEIS analyzes the potential environmental and socioeconomic effects associated with its ongoing and potential future activities along the Northern Border between the United States and Canada. The overall area of study analyzed in the document extends approximately 4,000 miles from Maine to Washington and 100 miles south of the U.S.-Canada Border. CBP also announces that it will be holding a series of public meetings in October to obtain comments regarding the Draft PEIS. SUMMARY: CBP invites comments on the Draft PEIS during the 45 day comment period, which begins on September 16, 2011. To ensure consideration, comments must be received by October 31, 2011. Comments may be submitted as set forth in the ADDRESSES section of DATES: mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Date October October October October October October October October October October October October October SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Public Meetings and Invitation To Comment CBP invites comments on all aspects of the Draft PEIS. Comments that will provide the most assistance to CBP will reference a specific section of the Draft PEIS, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include data, information, or authority that support such recommended change. Substantive comments received during the comment period will be addressed in, and included as an appendix to, the Final PEIS. The Final PEIS will be made available to the public through a Notice of Availability in the Federal Register. Comments may be submitted as described in the ADDRESSES section of this document. Respondents may request to withhold names or street addresses, except for city or town, from public view or from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act. Such a request must be stated prominently at the beginning of the comment. Such requests will be honored to the extent allowed by law. This request to withhold personal information does not apply to submissions from organizations or businesses, or from individuals identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations or businesses. CBP will hold public meetings to inform the public and solicit comments about the Draft PEIS. Meetings will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at each of the locations and dates provided below. The meeting in the Washington, DC area is for interested parties located outside of the project’s areas of interest. Meetings will include displays, handouts, and a presentation by CBP, and will provide an opportunity for the public to record their comments on the Draft PEIS. Changes in meeting plans, due to inclement weather or other causes, will be announced on the project’s Web site at: http:// www.NorthernBorderPEIS.com, and on a telephone message at: (866) 760–1421. City, state 3 ...................... 4 ...................... 4 ...................... 5 ...................... 5 ...................... 6 ...................... 6 ...................... 6 ...................... 11 .................... 11 .................... 12 .................... 13 .................... 17 .................... VerDate Mar<15>2010 this document. CBP will hold public meetings on the Draft PEIS. The locations, dates, and times are listed in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments related to the Draft PEIS by any of the following methods. Please include your name and address and the state or region to which the comment applies, as appropriate. To avoid duplication, please use only one of the following methods for providing comments: • Project Web site: http://www. NorthernBorderPEIS.com/publicinvolvement/comments.html; • E-mail: Comments@NorthernBorderPEIS.com; • Mail: CBP Northern Border PEIS, P.O. Box 3625, McLean, Virginia 22102; Phone voicemail box: (866) 760–1421 (comments recorded in the voicemail box will be transcribed). You may download the Draft PEIS from the project Web site: http:// www.NorthernBorderPEIS.com. It will also be made available on the Department of Homeland Security Web site (http://www.dhs.gov). Copies of the Draft PEIS may also be obtained by submitting a request through one of the methods listed below. Please include your name and mailing address in your request. • E-mail: Comments@NorthernBorderPEIS.com and write ‘‘Draft PEIS’’ in the subject line; • Mail: CBP Northern Border PEIS, (Draft PEIS Request), P.O. Box 3625, McLean, VA 22102; • Phone: (866) 760–1421. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jennifer Hass, CBP, Office of Administration, telephone (202) 344– 1929. You may also visit the project’s Web site at: http:// www.NorthernBorderPEIS.com. 57751 Location Duluth, MN .................. Massena, NY .............. Caribou, ME ................ Augusta, ME ............... Bottineau, ND ............. St. Albans, VT ............ Detroit, MI ................... Havre, MT ................... Bellingham, WA .......... Rochester, NY ............ Erie, PA ...................... Naples, ID ................... Washington, DC ......... Holiday Inn, 200 West First Street, Duluth, MN 55802. VFW, 101 W Hatfield St., Massena, NY 13662. Caribou Inn and Convention Center, 19 Main Street, Caribou, ME 04736. The Senator Inn & Spa, 284 Western Ave., Augusta, ME 04330. Twin Oaks Resort & Convention Center, 10723 Lake Loop Road, Bottineau, ND 58318. The Senator Historical Museum, 9 Church Street, St. Albans, VT 05478. Holiday Inn Express, 1020 Washington Boulevard, Detroit, MI 48226. The Town House Inn, 627 1st Street West, Havre, MT 59501. Hampton Inn, 3958 Bennett Drive, Bellingham, WA 98225. Holiday Inn—Rochester Airport, 911 Brooks Avenue, Rochester, NY 14624. Ambassador Banquet Center, 7794 Peach Street, Erie, PA 16509. The Great Northwest Territories Event Center, 336 County Road 8, Naples, ID 83847. Crystal City Marriott at Regan National Airport, 1999 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, VA 22201. 16:26 Sep 15, 2011 Jkt 223001 PO 00000 Frm 00040 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\16SEN1.SGM 16SEN1 57752 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 180 / Friday, September 16, 2011 / Notices mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES The public may obtain information concerning the status and progress of the PEIS, as well as view and download the document, via the project’s Web site at: http:// www.NorthernBorderPEIS.com. Background U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is charged with the mission of enforcing customs, immigration, agriculture, and numerous other laws and regulations at the Nation’s borders and facilitating legitimate trade and travel through legal ports of entry. As the guardian of the United States’ borders, CBP protects the roughly 4,000 miles of Northern Border between United States and Canada, from Maine to Washington. The terrain ranges from densely forested lands on the west and east coasts to open plains in the middle of the country. CBP has completed a Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for its ongoing and potential future activities along the Northern Border. The Draft PEIS is now available for public review and comment. (For instructions on obtaining a copy of the PEIS or on submitting comments, please see the ADDRESSES section of this document.) An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is a study of the potential effects on the environment from a specific Federal action. A Programmatic EIS (PEIS) is an EIS that looks at the general types of effects of a whole broad program of actions. It often forms the foundation for a ‘‘regular’’ or site-specific EIS, which looks in general detail at the effects of a specific project slated for a particular place. Because this effort is programmatic in nature, the Draft PEIS does not define effects for a specific or planned action. Instead, it analyzes the overall environmental and socioeconomic effects of activities supporting the homeland security mission of CBP focused on applying alternative approaches to better secure the border. On July 6, 2010, CBP published in the Federal Register (75 FR 38822) a notice announcing that CBP intended to prepare four PEISs to analyze the environmental effects of current and potential future CBP border security activities along the Northern Border. Each PEIS was to cover one region of the Northern Border: the New England region, the Great Lakes region, the region east of the Rocky Mountains, and the region west of the Rocky Mountains. The notice also announced and initiated the public scoping process to gather information from the public in preparation for drafting the PEISs. As VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:26 Sep 15, 2011 Jkt 223001 indicated in the notice, the scoping period concluded on August 5, 2010. However, CBP continued to take comments past the initial scoping period. For more information on this process, please see the section of this document entitled Public Scoping Process. Subsequently, and in part due to comments received during public scoping, CBP decided to refocus its approach and develop one PEIS covering the entire Northern Border, rather than four separate, regional PEISs. This new approach was designed to ensure that CBP could effectively analyze and convey impacts that occur across regions of the Northern Border. CBP published a notice in the Federal Register announcing this intention on November 9, 2010 (75 FR 68810). While this makes for a somewhat larger single document, it offers the advantage of less duplication and greater usefulness as a CBP planning tool. Aided by the information gained during the public scoping process, CBP has prepared the Draft PEIS to analyze the environmental and socioeconomic effects of current and potential future CBP border security activities along the Northern Border between the United States and Canada, including an area extending approximately 100 miles south of the Northern Border. For the purposes of the PEIS, the Northern Border is defined as the area between the United States and Canada extending from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean encompassing all the States between Maine and Washington, inclusively. (The Alaska-Canada border is not included in this effort.) CBP is evaluating the environmental and socioeconomic impacts of routine aspects of its operations along the Northern Border and considering enhancements to its infrastructure, technologies, and application of manpower to continue to deter existing and evolving threats to the Nation’s physical and economic security. Due to the diverse and natural environments along the Northern Border, the Draft PEIS analyzes four Northern Border regions, referred to above: the New England region, the Great Lakes region, the region east of the Rocky Mountains, and the region west of the Rocky Mountains. CBP plans to use the information derived from the analysis in the PEIS in management, planning, and decision-making for its mission and its environmental stewardship responsibilities. It will also be used to establish a foundation for future impact analyses. More specifically, CBP plans to use the PEIS analysis over the next five to PO 00000 Frm 00041 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 seven years as CBP works to improve security along the Northern Border. To protect the Northern Border against evolving terrorist and criminal threats, CBP plans to implement a diversified approach to border security over the next five to seven years that responds most effectively to those threats. This will involve some combination of facilities, security infrastructure, technologies, and operational activities, although the specific combination of elements that will be used over this period cannot be determined at this time. CBP will use this PEIS as a foundation for future environmental analyses of specific programs or locations as CBP’s plans for particular Northern Border security activities develop. Alternatives Considered The Draft PEIS considers the environmental impacts of several alternative approaches CBP may use to protect the Northern Border against evolving threats. These alternatives would all support continued deployment of existing CBP personnel in the most effective manner while maintaining officer safety and continued use of partnerships with other Federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies in the United States and Canada. CBP needs to maintain effective control of the Northern Border via all air, land, and maritime pathways for cross-border movement. The No Action Alternative (or ‘‘status quo’’) would be to continue with the same facilities, technology, infrastructure, and approximate level of personnel currently in use, deployed, or currently planned by CBP. Normal maintenance of existing facilities is included in this alternative. This alternative would not meet CBP’s goals as it would not allow CBP to improve its capability to interdict cross-border violators or to identify and resolve threats at the ports of entry in a manner that avoids adverse effects on legal trade and travel. However, it is evaluated in this Draft PEIS because it provides a baseline against which the impacts of the other reasonable alternatives can be compared. The Facilities Development and Improvement Alternative would focus on providing new permanent facilities or improvements to existing facilities such as Border Patrol stations, ports of entry, and other facilities to allow CBP agents to operate more efficiently and respond to situations more quickly. This alternative would help meet CBP’s goals because the new and improved facilities would make it more difficult for crossborder violators to cross the border. It E:\FR\FM\16SEN1.SGM 16SEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 180 / Friday, September 16, 2011 / Notices mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES would also divert traffic from or increase the capacity of the more heavily used ports of entry, decreasing waiting times. The applicability of this alternative would be limited, as most roads crossing the Northern Border already have a crossing facility. The Detection, Inspection, Surveillance and Communications Technology Expansion Alternative would focus on deploying more effective detection, inspection surveillance and communication technologies in support of CBP activities. This alternative would involve utilizing upgraded systems that would enable CBP to focus efforts on identifying threat areas, improving agent and officer communication systems, and deploying personnel to resolve incidents with maximum efficiency. This alternative would help meet CBP’s goals by improving CBP’s situational awareness and allowing CBP to more efficiently and effectively direct its resources for interdicting cross-border violators. The Tactical Security Infrastructure Deployment Alternative would focus on constructing additional barriers, access roads, and related facilities. The barriers would include selective fencing and vehicle barriers at selected points along the border and would deter and delay cross-border violators. The access roads and related facilities would increase the mobility of agents, and enhance their capabilities for surveillance and for responding to various international border violations. This alternative would help meet CBP’s goals by discouraging cross-border violators and improving CBP’s capacity to respond. The Flexible Direction Alternative (the Preferred Alternative) would allow CBP to follow any of the above directions in order to employ the most effective response to the changing threat environment along the Northern Border. This approach would allow CBP to respond more appropriately to a constantly changing threat environment. Public Scoping Process CBP developed and executed a public scoping program for the PEIS to identify public concerns to be examined in the PEIS. ‘‘Scoping’’ of an EIS is a process of informing diverse stakeholders about an action that an agency is planning and seeking those stakeholders’ feedback on the environmental concerns that the action could generate. The intent of the scoping effort is to adopt the scope of the planned environmental document to ensure that it addresses relevant concerns identified by interested members of the public as well as organizations, Native American Tribes, VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:26 Sep 15, 2011 Jkt 223001 and other government agencies and officials. CBP’s public scoping period for the Northern Border PEIS commenced on July 6, 2010 and concluded on August 5, 2010. See 75 FR 38822. The public scoping process was initiated with the publishing of a notice of intent (NOI) notifying the public of CBP’s decision to prepare the PEISs. In coordination with the publication of the NOI, display advertisements were published in various newspapers serving local communities, public service announcements were broadcasted on local radio stations, scoping letters were mailed to potentially interested stakeholders consisting of agencies, organizations, and individuals, and a project Web site was developed. Following the publication of the NOI, a series of public scoping meetings were held in July 2010. CBP encouraged the public to submit comments concerning the scope of the PEIS during the public meetings, or via Web site, e-mail, or letter. The comments CBP received during the public scoping process were used to adapt the scope of the Draft PEIS and to ensure that it addressed relevant concerns identified by interested members of the public as well as organizations, Native American Tribes, and other government agencies and officials. CBP has compiled a list of comments received in a scoping report. This report is available on the project’s Web site at: http://www.NorthernBorder PEIS.com. NEPA This environmental analysis is being conducted pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq., the Council on Environmental Quality Regulations for Implementing the NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500–1508), and Department of Homeland Security Directive 023–01 (renumbered from 5100.1), Environmental Planning Program of April 19, 2006. NEPA addresses concerns about environmental quality and the government’s role in protecting it. The essence of NEPA is the requirement that every Federal agency examine the environmental effects of any proposed action before deciding to proceed with it or with some alternative. NEPA and the implementing regulations issued by the President’s Council on Environmental Quality call for agencies to document the potential environmental effects of actions they are proposing. Generally, agencies must make those documents public, and seek public feedback on them. PO 00000 Frm 00042 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 57753 In accordance with NEPA, the PEIS analyzes the effects on the environment of the Northern Border Security Program. CBP will seek public input on these studies and will use them in agency planning and decision making. Because NEPA is a uniquely broad environmental law and covers the full spectrum of the natural and human environment, the PEIS will also address environmental considerations governed by other environmental statutes such as the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, and National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). NHPA Programmatic Agreement CBP is developing a Programmatic Agreement (PA) for operations along the Northern Border in accordance with Section 106 of NHPA, 16 U.S.C. 470f, and its implementing regulations (36 CFR part 800). While the PA is being pursued as an independent action from the PEIS, it will be applied to future activities occurring within the Northern Border study area and therefore is relevant to the Northern Border PEIS project. The Northern Border is defined for purposes of the PA as extending from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean encompassing all the States between Maine to Washington, including an area extending approximately 100 miles south of the U.S.-Canada border. This area is identical to the area of study of the PEIS. CBP is currently consulting and coordinating with the Historic Preservation Officers of the states of Idaho, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Vermont, and Washington, and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) to finalize an agreed upon framework for future Section 106 reviews for CBP actions. The PA will be signed by CBP, the ACHP, State Historic Preservation Officers, and other consulting parties. The signed PA will identify (1) activities and projects carried out by CBP that are agreed do not have the potential to affect properties either listed or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places, and (2) activities that are considered undertakings that do not require consultation under Section 106. Additionally, the PA identifies actions that may have an effect but that will not require Section 106 review by CBP, State or Tribal Historic Preservation Officers, Tribes and other consulting parties, so long as all terms and conditions as described in the PA are satisfactorily met. The signed PA will be valid for five years from the date of E:\FR\FM\16SEN1.SGM 16SEN1 57754 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 180 / Friday, September 16, 2011 / Notices execution, as verified with CBP filing the PA with the ACHP. Next Steps After the public comment period on the draft PEIS, CBP will complete a Final PEIS. The Final PEIS will be made available to the public through a Notice of Availability in the Federal Register. CBP will then select a programmatic course of action to guide CBP’s activities along the Northern Border for the next five to seven years. That decision will be published in the Federal Register in a Record of Decision. Dated: September 14, 2011. Trent Frazier, Acting Executive Director, Facilities Management and Engineering, Office of Administration. [FR Doc. 2011–23993 Filed 9–15–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111–14–P DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT [Docket No. FR–5477–N–37] Federal Property Suitable as Facilities To Assist the Homeless Office of the Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development, HUD. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: This Notice identifies unutilized, underutilized, excess, and surplus Federal property reviewed by HUD for suitability for use to assist the homeless. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Juanita Perry, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 Seventh Street, SW., Room 7266, Washington, DC 20410; telephone (202) 708–1234; TTY number for the hearing- and speech-impaired (202) 708–2565 (these telephone numbers are not toll-free), or call the toll-free Title V information line at 800–927–7588. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In accordance with 24 CFR part 581 and section 501 of the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11411), as amended, HUD is publishing this Notice to identify Federal buildings and other real property that HUD has reviewed for suitability for use to assist the homeless. The properties were reviewed using information provided to HUD by Federal landholding agencies regarding unutilized and underutilized buildings and real property controlled by such agencies or by GSA regarding its inventory of excess or surplus Federal property. This Notice is also published in order to comply with the mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:26 Sep 15, 2011 Jkt 223001 December 12, 1988 Court Order in National Coalition for the Homeless v. Veterans Administration, No. 88–2503– OG (D.D.C.). Properties reviewed are listed in this Notice according to the following categories: Suitable/available, suitable/ unavailable, suitable/to be excess, and unsuitable. The properties listed in the three suitable categories have been reviewed by the landholding agencies, and each agency has transmitted to HUD: (1) Its intention to make the property available for use to assist the homeless, (2) its intention to declare the property excess to the agency’s needs, or (3) a statement of the reasons that the property cannot be declared excess or made available for use as facilities to assist the homeless. Properties listed as suitable/available will be available exclusively for homeless use for a period of 60 days from the date of this Notice. Where property is described as for ‘‘off-site use only’’ recipients of the property will be required to relocate the building to their own site at their own expense. Homeless assistance providers interested in any such property should send a written expression of interest to HHS, addressed to Theresa Ritta, Division of Property Management, Program Support Center, HHS, room 5B–17, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857; (301) 443–2265. (This is not a toll-free number.) HHS will mail to the interested provider an application packet, which will include instructions for completing the application. In order to maximize the opportunity to utilize a suitable property, providers should submit their written expressions of interest as soon as possible. For complete details concerning the processing of applications, the reader is encouraged to refer to the interim rule governing this program, 24 CFR part 581. For properties listed as suitable/to be excess, that property may, if subsequently accepted as excess by GSA, be made available for use by the homeless in accordance with applicable law, subject to screening for other Federal use. At the appropriate time, HUD will publish the property in a Notice showing it as either suitable/ available or suitable/unavailable. For properties listed as suitable/ unavailable, the landholding agency has decided that the property cannot be declared excess or made available for use to assist the homeless, and the property will not be available. Properties listed as unsuitable will not be made available for any other purpose for 20 days from the date of this Notice. Homeless assistance providers PO 00000 Frm 00043 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 interested in a review by HUD of the determination of unsuitability should call the toll free information line at 1– 800–927–7588 for detailed instructions or write a letter to Mark Johnston at the address listed at the beginning of this Notice. Included in the request for review should be the property address (including zip code), the date of publication in the Federal Register, the landholding agency, and the property number. For more information regarding particular properties identified in this Notice (i.e., acreage, floor plan, existing sanitary facilities, exact street address), providers should contact the appropriate landholding agencies at the following addresses: ARMY: Ms. Veronica Rines, Department of the Army, Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management, DAIM–ZS, Room 8536, 2511 Jefferson Davis Hwy, Arlington, VA 22202: (571) 256–8145 (These are not toll-free numbers). Dated: September 8, 2011. Mark R. Johnston, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Special Needs. Title V, Federal Surplus Property Program Federal Register Report for 09/16/2011 Suitable/Available Properties Building Kansas 4 Bldgs., Ft. Riley, Fort Riley, KS 66442, Landholding Agency: Army, Property Number: 21201130040, Status: Unutilized. Directions: 00471, 00470, 00745, 00615. Comments: Off-site removal only; sq ft. vary among properties; recent use: lodging, storage. Bldg. 00600, 600 Caisson Hill Rd, Fort Riley, KS 66442, Landholding Agency: Army, Property Number: 21201130042, Status: Unutilized. Comments: Off site removal only; 380,376 sq. ft.; recent use: hospital. Bldgs. 00541 and 08321, Ft. Riley, Fort Riley KS, Landholding Agency: Army, Property Number: 21201130044, Status: Unutilized. Comments: Off site removal only; sq. ft. vary among properties, recent use: lodging. 2 Bldgs., Ft. Riley, Fort Riley KS 66442, Landholding Agency: Army, Property Number: 21201130059, Status: Unutilized. Directions: 00540, 00541. Comments: Off-site removal only; sq. ft. vary among properties, recent use: lodging. E:\FR\FM\16SEN1.SGM 16SEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 180 (Friday, September 16, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 57751-57754]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-23993]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Customs and Border Protection


Notice of Availability of a Draft Programmatic Environmental 
Impact Statement for Northern Border Activities

AGENCY: U.S. Customs and Border Protection, DHS.

ACTION: Notice of availability; Request for comments; Notice of public 
meetings.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announces that a 
Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) is now 
available and open for public comment. The Draft PEIS analyzes the 
potential environmental and socioeconomic effects associated with its 
ongoing and potential future activities along the Northern Border 
between the United States and Canada. The overall area of study 
analyzed in the document extends approximately 4,000 miles from Maine 
to Washington and 100 miles south of the U.S.-Canada Border. CBP also 
announces that it will be holding a series of public meetings in 
October to obtain comments regarding the Draft PEIS.

DATES: CBP invites comments on the Draft PEIS during the 45 day comment 
period, which begins on September 16, 2011. To ensure consideration, 
comments must be received by October 31, 2011. Comments may be 
submitted as set forth in the ADDRESSES section of this document. CBP 
will hold public meetings on the Draft PEIS. The locations, dates, and 
times are listed in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this 
document.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments related to the Draft PEIS by any of 
the following methods. Please include your name and address and the 
state or region to which the comment applies, as appropriate. To avoid 
duplication, please use only one of the following methods for providing 
comments:
     Project Web site: http://www.NorthernBorderPEIS.com/public-involvement/comments.html;
     E-mail: Comments@NorthernBorderPEIS.com;
     Mail: CBP Northern Border PEIS, P.O. Box 3625, McLean, 
Virginia 22102; Phone voicemail box: (866) 760-1421 (comments recorded 
in the voicemail box will be transcribed).

You may download the Draft PEIS from the project Web site: http://www.NorthernBorderPEIS.com. It will also be made available on the 
Department of Homeland Security Web site (http://www.dhs.gov). Copies 
of the Draft PEIS may also be obtained by submitting a request through 
one of the methods listed below. Please include your name and mailing 
address in your request.
     E-mail: Comments@NorthernBorderPEIS.com and write ``Draft 
PEIS'' in the subject line;
     Mail: CBP Northern Border PEIS, (Draft PEIS Request), P.O. 
Box 3625, McLean, VA 22102;
     Phone: (866) 760-1421.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jennifer Hass, CBP, Office of 
Administration, telephone (202) 344-1929. You may also visit the 
project's Web site at: http://www.NorthernBorderPEIS.com.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Public Meetings and Invitation To Comment

    CBP invites comments on all aspects of the Draft PEIS. Comments 
that will provide the most assistance to CBP will reference a specific 
section of the Draft PEIS, explain the reason for any recommended 
change, and include data, information, or authority that support such 
recommended change. Substantive comments received during the comment 
period will be addressed in, and included as an appendix to, the Final 
PEIS. The Final PEIS will be made available to the public through a 
Notice of Availability in the Federal Register.
    Comments may be submitted as described in the ADDRESSES section of 
this document. Respondents may request to withhold names or street 
addresses, except for city or town, from public view or from disclosure 
under the Freedom of Information Act. Such a request must be stated 
prominently at the beginning of the comment. Such requests will be 
honored to the extent allowed by law. This request to withhold personal 
information does not apply to submissions from organizations or 
businesses, or from individuals identifying themselves as 
representatives or officials of organizations or businesses.
    CBP will hold public meetings to inform the public and solicit 
comments about the Draft PEIS. Meetings will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 
p.m. at each of the locations and dates provided below. The meeting in 
the Washington, DC area is for interested parties located outside of 
the project's areas of interest. Meetings will include displays, 
handouts, and a presentation by CBP, and will provide an opportunity 
for the public to record their comments on the Draft PEIS. Changes in 
meeting plans, due to inclement weather or other causes, will be 
announced on the project's Web site at: http://www.NorthernBorderPEIS.com, and on a telephone message at: (866) 760-
1421.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 Date                        City, state                            Location
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
October 3............................  Duluth, MN.............  Holiday Inn, 200 West First Street, Duluth, MN
                                                                 55802.
October 4............................  Massena, NY............  VFW, 101 W Hatfield St., Massena, NY 13662.
October 4............................  Caribou, ME............  Caribou Inn and Convention Center, 19 Main
                                                                 Street, Caribou, ME 04736.
October 5............................  Augusta, ME............  The Senator Inn & Spa, 284 Western Ave.,
                                                                 Augusta, ME 04330.
October 5............................  Bottineau, ND..........  Twin Oaks Resort & Convention Center, 10723 Lake
                                                                 Loop Road, Bottineau, ND 58318.
October 6............................  St. Albans, VT.........  The Senator Historical Museum, 9 Church Street,
                                                                 St. Albans, VT 05478.
October 6............................  Detroit, MI............  Holiday Inn Express, 1020 Washington Boulevard,
                                                                 Detroit, MI 48226.
October 6............................  Havre, MT..............  The Town House Inn, 627 1st Street West, Havre,
                                                                 MT 59501.
October 11...........................  Bellingham, WA.........  Hampton Inn, 3958 Bennett Drive, Bellingham, WA
                                                                 98225.
October 11...........................  Rochester, NY..........  Holiday Inn--Rochester Airport, 911 Brooks
                                                                 Avenue, Rochester, NY 14624.
October 12...........................  Erie, PA...............  Ambassador Banquet Center, 7794 Peach Street,
                                                                 Erie, PA 16509.
October 13...........................  Naples, ID.............  The Great Northwest Territories Event Center,
                                                                 336 County Road 8, Naples, ID 83847.
October 17...........................  Washington, DC.........  Crystal City Marriott at Regan National Airport,
                                                                 1999 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, VA
                                                                 22201.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 57752]]

    The public may obtain information concerning the status and 
progress of the PEIS, as well as view and download the document, via 
the project's Web site at: http://www.NorthernBorderPEIS.com.

Background

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is charged with the 
mission of enforcing customs, immigration, agriculture, and numerous 
other laws and regulations at the Nation's borders and facilitating 
legitimate trade and travel through legal ports of entry. As the 
guardian of the United States' borders, CBP protects the roughly 4,000 
miles of Northern Border between United States and Canada, from Maine 
to Washington. The terrain ranges from densely forested lands on the 
west and east coasts to open plains in the middle of the country.
    CBP has completed a Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact 
Statement (PEIS) for its ongoing and potential future activities along 
the Northern Border. The Draft PEIS is now available for public review 
and comment. (For instructions on obtaining a copy of the PEIS or on 
submitting comments, please see the ADDRESSES section of this 
document.) An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is a study of the 
potential effects on the environment from a specific Federal action. A 
Programmatic EIS (PEIS) is an EIS that looks at the general types of 
effects of a whole broad program of actions. It often forms the 
foundation for a ``regular'' or site-specific EIS, which looks in 
general detail at the effects of a specific project slated for a 
particular place. Because this effort is programmatic in nature, the 
Draft PEIS does not define effects for a specific or planned action. 
Instead, it analyzes the overall environmental and socioeconomic 
effects of activities supporting the homeland security mission of CBP 
focused on applying alternative approaches to better secure the border.
    On July 6, 2010, CBP published in the Federal Register (75 FR 
38822) a notice announcing that CBP intended to prepare four PEISs to 
analyze the environmental effects of current and potential future CBP 
border security activities along the Northern Border. Each PEIS was to 
cover one region of the Northern Border: the New England region, the 
Great Lakes region, the region east of the Rocky Mountains, and the 
region west of the Rocky Mountains. The notice also announced and 
initiated the public scoping process to gather information from the 
public in preparation for drafting the PEISs. As indicated in the 
notice, the scoping period concluded on August 5, 2010. However, CBP 
continued to take comments past the initial scoping period. For more 
information on this process, please see the section of this document 
entitled Public Scoping Process.
    Subsequently, and in part due to comments received during public 
scoping, CBP decided to refocus its approach and develop one PEIS 
covering the entire Northern Border, rather than four separate, 
regional PEISs. This new approach was designed to ensure that CBP could 
effectively analyze and convey impacts that occur across regions of the 
Northern Border. CBP published a notice in the Federal Register 
announcing this intention on November 9, 2010 (75 FR 68810). While this 
makes for a somewhat larger single document, it offers the advantage of 
less duplication and greater usefulness as a CBP planning tool.
    Aided by the information gained during the public scoping process, 
CBP has prepared the Draft PEIS to analyze the environmental and 
socioeconomic effects of current and potential future CBP border 
security activities along the Northern Border between the United States 
and Canada, including an area extending approximately 100 miles south 
of the Northern Border. For the purposes of the PEIS, the Northern 
Border is defined as the area between the United States and Canada 
extending from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean encompassing all 
the States between Maine and Washington, inclusively. (The Alaska-
Canada border is not included in this effort.) CBP is evaluating the 
environmental and socioeconomic impacts of routine aspects of its 
operations along the Northern Border and considering enhancements to 
its infrastructure, technologies, and application of manpower to 
continue to deter existing and evolving threats to the Nation's 
physical and economic security. Due to the diverse and natural 
environments along the Northern Border, the Draft PEIS analyzes four 
Northern Border regions, referred to above: the New England region, the 
Great Lakes region, the region east of the Rocky Mountains, and the 
region west of the Rocky Mountains. CBP plans to use the information 
derived from the analysis in the PEIS in management, planning, and 
decision-making for its mission and its environmental stewardship 
responsibilities. It will also be used to establish a foundation for 
future impact analyses.
    More specifically, CBP plans to use the PEIS analysis over the next 
five to seven years as CBP works to improve security along the Northern 
Border. To protect the Northern Border against evolving terrorist and 
criminal threats, CBP plans to implement a diversified approach to 
border security over the next five to seven years that responds most 
effectively to those threats. This will involve some combination of 
facilities, security infrastructure, technologies, and operational 
activities, although the specific combination of elements that will be 
used over this period cannot be determined at this time. CBP will use 
this PEIS as a foundation for future environmental analyses of specific 
programs or locations as CBP's plans for particular Northern Border 
security activities develop.

Alternatives Considered

    The Draft PEIS considers the environmental impacts of several 
alternative approaches CBP may use to protect the Northern Border 
against evolving threats. These alternatives would all support 
continued deployment of existing CBP personnel in the most effective 
manner while maintaining officer safety and continued use of 
partnerships with other Federal, state, and local law enforcement 
agencies in the United States and Canada. CBP needs to maintain 
effective control of the Northern Border via all air, land, and 
maritime pathways for cross-border movement.
    The No Action Alternative (or ``status quo'') would be to continue 
with the same facilities, technology, infrastructure, and approximate 
level of personnel currently in use, deployed, or currently planned by 
CBP. Normal maintenance of existing facilities is included in this 
alternative. This alternative would not meet CBP's goals as it would 
not allow CBP to improve its capability to interdict cross-border 
violators or to identify and resolve threats at the ports of entry in a 
manner that avoids adverse effects on legal trade and travel. However, 
it is evaluated in this Draft PEIS because it provides a baseline 
against which the impacts of the other reasonable alternatives can be 
compared.
    The Facilities Development and Improvement Alternative would focus 
on providing new permanent facilities or improvements to existing 
facilities such as Border Patrol stations, ports of entry, and other 
facilities to allow CBP agents to operate more efficiently and respond 
to situations more quickly. This alternative would help meet CBP's 
goals because the new and improved facilities would make it more 
difficult for cross-border violators to cross the border. It

[[Page 57753]]

would also divert traffic from or increase the capacity of the more 
heavily used ports of entry, decreasing waiting times. The 
applicability of this alternative would be limited, as most roads 
crossing the Northern Border already have a crossing facility.
    The Detection, Inspection, Surveillance and Communications 
Technology Expansion Alternative would focus on deploying more 
effective detection, inspection surveillance and communication 
technologies in support of CBP activities. This alternative would 
involve utilizing upgraded systems that would enable CBP to focus 
efforts on identifying threat areas, improving agent and officer 
communication systems, and deploying personnel to resolve incidents 
with maximum efficiency. This alternative would help meet CBP's goals 
by improving CBP's situational awareness and allowing CBP to more 
efficiently and effectively direct its resources for interdicting 
cross-border violators.
    The Tactical Security Infrastructure Deployment Alternative would 
focus on constructing additional barriers, access roads, and related 
facilities. The barriers would include selective fencing and vehicle 
barriers at selected points along the border and would deter and delay 
cross-border violators. The access roads and related facilities would 
increase the mobility of agents, and enhance their capabilities for 
surveillance and for responding to various international border 
violations. This alternative would help meet CBP's goals by 
discouraging cross-border violators and improving CBP's capacity to 
respond.
    The Flexible Direction Alternative (the Preferred Alternative) 
would allow CBP to follow any of the above directions in order to 
employ the most effective response to the changing threat environment 
along the Northern Border. This approach would allow CBP to respond 
more appropriately to a constantly changing threat environment.

Public Scoping Process

    CBP developed and executed a public scoping program for the PEIS to 
identify public concerns to be examined in the PEIS. ``Scoping'' of an 
EIS is a process of informing diverse stakeholders about an action that 
an agency is planning and seeking those stakeholders' feedback on the 
environmental concerns that the action could generate. The intent of 
the scoping effort is to adopt the scope of the planned environmental 
document to ensure that it addresses relevant concerns identified by 
interested members of the public as well as organizations, Native 
American Tribes, and other government agencies and officials.
    CBP's public scoping period for the Northern Border PEIS commenced 
on July 6, 2010 and concluded on August 5, 2010. See 75 FR 38822. The 
public scoping process was initiated with the publishing of a notice of 
intent (NOI) notifying the public of CBP's decision to prepare the 
PEISs. In coordination with the publication of the NOI, display 
advertisements were published in various newspapers serving local 
communities, public service announcements were broadcasted on local 
radio stations, scoping letters were mailed to potentially interested 
stakeholders consisting of agencies, organizations, and individuals, 
and a project Web site was developed. Following the publication of the 
NOI, a series of public scoping meetings were held in July 2010.
    CBP encouraged the public to submit comments concerning the scope 
of the PEIS during the public meetings, or via Web site, e-mail, or 
letter. The comments CBP received during the public scoping process 
were used to adapt the scope of the Draft PEIS and to ensure that it 
addressed relevant concerns identified by interested members of the 
public as well as organizations, Native American Tribes, and other 
government agencies and officials. CBP has compiled a list of comments 
received in a scoping report. This report is available on the project's 
Web site at: http://www.NorthernBorderPEIS.com.

NEPA

    This environmental analysis is being conducted pursuant to the 
National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), 42 U.S.C. 4321 et 
seq., the Council on Environmental Quality Regulations for Implementing 
the NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500-1508), and Department of Homeland Security 
Directive 023-01 (renumbered from 5100.1), Environmental Planning 
Program of April 19, 2006. NEPA addresses concerns about environmental 
quality and the government's role in protecting it. The essence of NEPA 
is the requirement that every Federal agency examine the environmental 
effects of any proposed action before deciding to proceed with it or 
with some alternative. NEPA and the implementing regulations issued by 
the President's Council on Environmental Quality call for agencies to 
document the potential environmental effects of actions they are 
proposing. Generally, agencies must make those documents public, and 
seek public feedback on them.
    In accordance with NEPA, the PEIS analyzes the effects on the 
environment of the Northern Border Security Program. CBP will seek 
public input on these studies and will use them in agency planning and 
decision making. Because NEPA is a uniquely broad environmental law and 
covers the full spectrum of the natural and human environment, the PEIS 
will also address environmental considerations governed by other 
environmental statutes such as the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, 
Endangered Species Act, and National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA).

NHPA Programmatic Agreement

    CBP is developing a Programmatic Agreement (PA) for operations 
along the Northern Border in accordance with Section 106 of NHPA, 16 
U.S.C. 470f, and its implementing regulations (36 CFR part 800). While 
the PA is being pursued as an independent action from the PEIS, it will 
be applied to future activities occurring within the Northern Border 
study area and therefore is relevant to the Northern Border PEIS 
project. The Northern Border is defined for purposes of the PA as 
extending from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean encompassing all 
the States between Maine to Washington, including an area extending 
approximately 100 miles south of the U.S.-Canada border. This area is 
identical to the area of study of the PEIS.
    CBP is currently consulting and coordinating with the Historic 
Preservation Officers of the states of Idaho, Maine, Michigan, 
Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, 
Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Vermont, and Washington, and the Advisory 
Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) to finalize an agreed upon 
framework for future Section 106 reviews for CBP actions. The PA will 
be signed by CBP, the ACHP, State Historic Preservation Officers, and 
other consulting parties. The signed PA will identify (1) activities 
and projects carried out by CBP that are agreed do not have the 
potential to affect properties either listed or eligible for listing in 
the National Register of Historic Places, and (2) activities that are 
considered undertakings that do not require consultation under Section 
106. Additionally, the PA identifies actions that may have an effect 
but that will not require Section 106 review by CBP, State or Tribal 
Historic Preservation Officers, Tribes and other consulting parties, so 
long as all terms and conditions as described in the PA are 
satisfactorily met. The signed PA will be valid for five years from the 
date of

[[Page 57754]]

execution, as verified with CBP filing the PA with the ACHP.

Next Steps

    After the public comment period on the draft PEIS, CBP will 
complete a Final PEIS. The Final PEIS will be made available to the 
public through a Notice of Availability in the Federal Register. CBP 
will then select a programmatic course of action to guide CBP's 
activities along the Northern Border for the next five to seven years. 
That decision will be published in the Federal Register in a Record of 
Decision.

    Dated: September 14, 2011.
Trent Frazier,
Acting Executive Director, Facilities Management and Engineering, 
Office of Administration.
[FR Doc. 2011-23993 Filed 9-15-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 9111-14-P