DHS to Fix Debilitated Sections of Border Wall that Pose Environmental/Safety Concerns
Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas 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 previously undertaken by the Department of Defense (DoD) and located within the Border Patrol’s San Diego, El Centro, Yuma, Tucson, El Paso, and Del Rio Sectors. The activities will be undertaken in accordance with the Department’s plan for the use of border barrier funds.
In furtherance of Presidential Proclamation 10142, the Deputy Secretary of Defense directed the cancellation of all DoD 284 Projects. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), on behalf of DoD, is in the process of terminating the construction contracts for these projects. As part of that process, DoD will turn over unfinished projects to DHS in various stages of completion to undertake activities necessary to address urgent life, safety, environmental, or other remediation required to protect border communities.
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 laydown yards, 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 that remain open from prior construction activities and remediating incomplete gates.
The type of work that is required will vary by Sector and will be executed with available funding in priority locations identified by CBP. A large majority of the incomplete DoD 284 Projects are located within the Tucson Sector. Following a safety analysis by CBP in the Tucson Sector, work to address life, safety, environmental, or other remediation requirements will begin.
Work will be completed within the Tucson, El Paso, and Yuma Sectors to address safety concerns by closing construction access gaps that were left open at the time of the border barrier construction pause, and will also include adding missing gates, addressing incomplete foundations, and connecting power to gates that are already hung but are currently inoperable. Rescue gates provide access for Border Patrol agents and first responders to access irrigation canals in emergency situations where the water is fast moving and extremely dangerous. These emergency rescue gates are currently inoperable due to missing hardware or being welded shut.
CBP will assess additional remediation needs in the San Diego, El Centro, Yuma, El Paso, and Del Rio Sectors and will prioritize completion of drainage and erosion control measures, safety work on border and access roads, and remediation of temporary use areas used for construction.
For these projects, CBP 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.
The Administration continues to call on Congress to cancel remaining border wall funding and instead fund smarter border security measures that are proven to be more effective at improving safety and security at the border.
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