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FME000189

FME000190

ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS

BLM Bureau of Land NEPA National Environmental


Management Policy Act

BO Biological Opinion NOI Notice of Intent

CBP U.S. Customs and Border NOP Notice of Preparation


Protection
NPDES National Pollutant
CEQ Council on Environmental Discharge Elimination
Quality System

CEQA California Environmental OMW Otay Mountain


Quality Act Wilderness

CFR Code of Federal P.L. Public Law


Regulations
SHPO State Historic
CWA Clean Water Act Preservation Office

DHS U.S. Department of U.S.C. United States Code


Homeland Security
USACE U.S. Army Corps of
DOPAA Description of the Engineers
Proposed Action and
Alternatives USBP U.S. Border Patrol

EA Environmental USEPA U.S. Environmental


Assessment Protection Agency

ECSO Engineering Construction USFWS U.S. Fish and Wildlife


Support Office Service

EIR Environmental Impact


Report

EIS Environmental Impact


Statement

EO Executive Order

ESA Endangered Species Act

MD Management Directive
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COVER SHEET

REVISED DRAFT DESCRIPTION OF THE PROPOSED ACTION AND ALTERNATIVES FOR AN


ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT/ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT
FOR PROPOSED CONSTRUCTION, MAINTENANCE,
AND OPERATION OF TACTICAL INFRASTRUCTURE
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY,
U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION,
U. S. BORDER PATROL, SAN DIEGO SECTOR, CALIFORNIA

Responsible Agencies: U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S.


Customs and Border Protection (CBP), U.S. Border Patrol (USBP).

Affected Location: U.S./Mexico international border in San Diego County,


California.

Proposed Action: The Proposed Action includes the construction,


maintenance, and operation of tactical infrastructure, to include a pedestrian
fence, supporting patrol roads, and other infrastructure in two distinct segments
along the U.S./Mexico international border within USBP’s San Diego Sector. The
segments would be 0.7 miles and 4.9 miles in length.

Report Designation: Description of the Proposed Action and Alternatives


(DOPAA) for an Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact
Report/Environmental Impact Report (EIS/EIR).

Abstract: USBP proposes to construct, maintain, and operate approximately


5.6 miles of tactical infrastructure. Proposed tactical infrastructure would consist
of pedestrian fence, patrol roads, access roads, and construction staging areas
in two segments along the U.S./Mexico international border in San Diego County,
California. The first segment would be approximately 4.9 miles in length and
would start at the Puebla Tree and end at boundary monument 250. The
proposed segment would be adjacent to and south of the Otay Mountain
Wilderness (OMW), would follow the Pak Truck Trail, and would not connect to
any existing fence. The OMW is on public lands administered by the Bureau of
Land Management (BLM). The second segment would be approximately 0.7
miles in length and would connect with existing border fence west of Tecate,
Mexico. This fence segment is an extension of existing fence up Tecate Peak
and would pass through a riparian area. Some portions of the fence segments
might also encroach on multiple privately owned land parcels.

The EIS/EIR process will serve as a planning tool to assist agencies with
decisionmaking authority associated with the Proposed Action and ensure that
the required public involvement under the National Environmental Policy Act
(NEPA) and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) is accomplished.
When completed, the EIS/EIR will present potential environmental impacts
associated with the Proposed Action and alternatives and provide information to
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assist in the decisionmaking process about whether and how to implement the
Proposed Action.

Throughout the NEPA process, the public may obtain information concerning the
status and progress of the Proposed Action and the EIS/EIR via the project web site
at www.BorderFenceNEPA.com, by emailing information@BorderFenceNEPA.com,
or by written request to Mr. (b) (6) Environmental Manager, U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers (USACE), Fort Worth District, Engineering Construction Support
Office (ECSO), 814 Taylor Street, Room 3A28, Fort Worth, TX 76102; and
Fax: (817)-886-6404.

You may submit comments to CBP by contacting the SBInet, Tactical


Infrastructure Program Office. To avoid duplication, please use only one of the
following methods:

(a) Electronically through the Web site at: www.BorderFenceNEPA.com;


(b) By email to: SDcomments@BorderFenceNEPA.com;
(c) By mail to: San Diego Tactical Infrastructure EIS, c/o e²M, 2751
Prosperity Avenue, Suite 200, Fairfax, Virginia 22031; or
(d) By fax to: (757)-257-7643.

PRIVACY NOTICE

Your comments on this document are requested. Comments will normally be


addressed in the EIS/EIR and made available to the public. Any personal
information included in comments will therefore be publicly available.
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REVISED DRAFT

DESCRIPTION OF THE PROPOSED ACTION AND


ALTERNATIVES FOR AN
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT/
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT FOR
PROPOSED CONSTRUCTION, MAINTENANCE,
AND OPERATION OF TACTICAL INFRASTRUCTURE

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY


U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION
U.S. BORDER PATROL
SAN DIEGO SECTOR, CALIFORNIA

OCTOBER 2007
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FME000195
Internal Agency Review/Predecisional Draft, Not For Public Dissemination

1 REVISED DRAFT DESCRIPTION OF THE PROPOSED ACTION AND ALTERNATIVES FOR AN


2 ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT/ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT
3 FOR PROPOSED CONSTRUCTION, MAINTENANCE,
4 AND OPERATION OF TACTICAL INFRASTRUCTURE
5 U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY,
6 U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION,
7 U. S. BORDER PATROL, SAN DIEGO SECTOR, CALIFORNIA
8
9 TABLE OF CONTENTS
10 SECTION PAGE
11 1. INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................. 1-1
12 1.1 USBP BACKGROUND ............................................................................................................1-1
13 1.2 PURPOSE AND NEED ...........................................................................................................1-3
14 1.3 PROPOSED ACTION .............................................................................................................1-4
15 1.4 FRAMEWORK FOR ANALYSIS..............................................................................................1-4
16 1.4.1 National Environmental Policy Act ............................................................................1-4
17 1.4.2 California Environmental Quality Act .........................................................................1-5
18 1.5 PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT .........................................................................................................1-6
19 1.6 COOPERATING AGENCIES ..................................................................................................1-7

20 2. PROPOSED ACTION AND ALTERNATIVES ..................................................................... 2-1


21 2.1 SCREENING CRITERIA FOR ALTERNATIVES .....................................................................2-1
22 2.2 ALTERNATIVES ANALYSIS ...................................................................................................2-2
23 2.2.1 Alternative 1: No Action Alternative..........................................................................2-2
24 2.2.2 Alternative 2: Proposed Action .................................................................................2-2
25 2.2.3 Alternative 3: Secure Fence Act Alignment Alternative ............................................2-5
26 2.3 ALTERNATIVES CONSIDERED BUT ELIMINATED FROM FURTHER
27 DETAILED ANALYSIS ...........................................................................................................2-7
28 2.3.1 Fence Types .............................................................................................................2-8
29 2.3.2 Additional USBP Agents in Lieu of Tactical Infrastructure ........................................2-8
30 2.3.3 Technology in Lieu of Tactical Infrastructure ............................................................2-8
31 2.4 SUMMARY ..............................................................................................................................2-9
32 2.5 IDENTIFICATION OF THE ENVIRONMENTALLY PREFERRED ALTERNATIVE .................2-9

33 3. REFERENCES .................................................................................................................... 3-1


34
35 APPENDICES
36 APPENDIX PAGE
37
38 A Public Involvement and Agency Coordination................................................................................... A-1
39 B Descriptions of Tactical Infrastructure ............................................................................................... B-1
40

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1 FIGURES
2 FIGURE PAGE
3
4 1-1. Locations of the Proposed Tactical Infrastructure ................................................................................1-2
5 2-1. Schematic of Proposed Impact Areas – Alternative 2...........................................................................2-6
6 2-2. Schematic of Proposed Impact Areas – Alternative 3...........................................................................2-7
7
8 TABLES
9 TABLE PAGE
10
11 2-1. Proposed Fence Segments for USBP San Diego Sector .....................................................................2-3
12

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1 1. INTRODUCTION

2 U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Customs and Border


3 Protection (CBP), U.S. Border Patrol (herein referred to as USBP) proposes to
4 construct, maintain, and operate approximately 5.6 miles of tactical infrastructure
5 along the U.S./Mexico international border near Otay Mountain Wilderness
6 (OMW), San Diego County, California. Tactical infrastructure would consist of
7 pedestrian fence, patrol roads access roads and construction staging areas in
8 two segments along the U.S./Mexico international border within USBP’s San
9 Diego Sector. Proposed tactical infrastructure includes installation of primary
10 fence segments (areas of the border that are not currently fenced). The first
11 segment is approximately 4.9 miles in length and would start at Puebla Tree and
12 end at Boundary Monument 250. The second would be approximately 0.7 miles
13 in length and would connect with existing border fence west of Tecate (see
14 Figure 1-1). The proposed fence and tactical infrastructure could encroach on
15 both public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and
16 multiple privately owned land parcels.

17 This Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (EIS/EIR) is


18 divided into seven sections plus appendices. Section 1 provides background
19 information on USBP missions, identifies the purpose of and need for the
20 Proposed Action, describes the area in which the Proposed Action would occur,
21 and explains the public involvement process. Section 2 provides a detailed
22 description of the Proposed Action, alternatives considered, and the No Action
23 Alternative. Section 3 describes existing environmental conditions in the areas
24 where the Proposed Action would occur. Section 4 identifies potential
25 environmental impacts that could occur within each resource area under the
26 alternatives evaluated in detail. Section 5 discusses potential cumulative
27 impacts and other impacts that might result from implementation of the Proposed
28 Action, combined with foreseeable future actions. Sections 6 and 7 provide a
29 list of preparers and references for the EIS/EIR.

30 1.1 USBP BACKGROUND


31 USBP has multiple missions, including the following:

32 • Prevention of terrorists and terrorist weapons, including weapons of


33 mass destruction, from entering the United States
34 • Interdicting illegal drugs and those who attempt to smuggle them into
35 the United States
36 • Interdicting illegal aliens and those who attempt to smuggle them into
37 the United States (CBP 2006).

38 USBP’s new and traditional missions, both of which are referred to above, are
39 complementary.
40 San Diego Tactical Infrastructure EIS/EIR – Rev. 1 October 11, 2007

1-1
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San Diego Tactical Infrastructure EIS/EIR – Rev. 1


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Figure 1-1. Locations of the Proposed Tactical Infrastructure


Mexico

Source: ESRI StreetMap USA 2005


Internal Agency Review/Predecisional Draft, Not For Public Dissemination

October 11, 2007


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1 USBP has nine administrative sectors along the U.S./Mexico international border.
2 USBP San Diego Sector is responsible for 7,000 square miles of southern
3 California and 66 miles of the U.S./Mexico international border. USBP San
4 Diego Sector is responsible for the entire county of San Diego, California (CBP
5 2007).

6 The Brown Field Station has responsibility for approximately 11.5 miles of the
7 border within USBP San Diego Sector. During the 2006 calendar year, the
8 Brown Field Station was responsible for 46,213 apprehensions, or 34 percent of
9 all apprehensions within USBP San Diego Sector. As such, the Brown Field
10 Station is the fifth busiest station (in terms of apprehensions) in the USBP (CBP
11 2007).

12 Approximately half of the Brown Field Station area of responsibility has tactical
13 infrastructure in place. The region without infrastructure is rugged mountainous
14 terrain that is currently difficult to access and patrol. The majority of this
15 unsecured area is to the south of BLM’s OMW and has become a focal point of
16 illegal immigrant traffic, where traffickers are well-funded and organized.

17 1.2 PURPOSE AND NEED


18 The purpose of the Proposed Action is to construct, operate, and maintain
19 tactical infrastructure in the form of fences, roads, and supporting technological
20 assets to fortify the border with Mexico. The Proposed Action would assist USBP
21 agents and officers in gaining effective control of our nation’s borders.

22 The Proposed Action is needed to provide USBP agents with the tools necessary
23 to strengthen their control of the U.S. borders between ports of entry (POEs).
24 The Proposed Action will also help to deter illegal entries through improved
25 enforcement, prevent terrorists and terrorist weapons from entering the U.S.,
26 reduce the flow of illegal drugs, and provide a safe work environment and
27 enhance the response time of USBP agents.

28 In many areas fences are a critical element of border security. To achieve


29 effective control of our nation’s borders, USBP is developing the right
30 combination of personnel, technology, and infrastructure; mobilizing and rapidly
31 deploying people and resources; and fostering partnerships with other law
32 enforcement agencies.

33 USBP San Diego Sector has identified several areas along the border that
34 experience high levels of illegal immigration and drug trafficking. These areas
35 are, among other factors, remote and not easily accessed by USBP agents, near
36 the POEs where concentrated populations might live on opposing sides of the
37 border, or have quick access to U.S. transportation routes. In the urban area
38 west of Tecate, Mexico, individuals who illegally cross the border have only a
39 short distance to travel before disappearing into neighborhoods. Based on
40 operational challenges in these areas, USBP needs to construct, maintain, and
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1 operate the proposed tactical infrastructure to gain effective control of our


2 nation’s borders.

3 1.3 PROPOSED ACTION


4 USBP proposes to construct, maintain, and operate tactical infrastructure
5 consisting of pedestrian fence, patrol roads, access roads, and construction
6 staging areas along the U.S./Mexico international border in the San Diego
7 Sector, California. The Fiscal Year (FY) 2007 DHS Appropriations Act (Public
8 Law [P.L.] 109-295) provided $1.2 billion for the installation of fencing,
9 infrastructure, and technology along the border (CRS 2006). Figure 1-1
10 illustrates the location of the proposed tactical infrastructure within USBP San
11 Diego Sector. Details of the Proposed Action are included in Section 2.2.2.

12 1.4 FRAMEWORK FOR ANALYSIS


13 1.4.1 National Environmental Policy Act
14 National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) is a Federal statute requiring the
15 identification and analysis of potential environmental impacts of proposed
16 Federal actions before those actions are taken. NEPA also established the
17 Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) which is charged with the development
18 of implementing regulations and ensuring agency compliance with NEPA. CEQ
19 regulations mandate that all Federal agencies use a systematic interdisciplinary
20 approach to environmental planning and the evaluation of actions which might
21 affect the environment. This process evaluates potential environmental
22 consequences associated with a proposed action and considers alternative
23 courses of action. The intent of NEPA is to protect, restore, or enhance the
24 environment through well-informed Federal decisions.

25 The process for implementing NEPA is codified in 40 CFR 1500–1508,


26 Regulations for Implementing the Procedural Provisions of the National
27 Environmental Policy Act, and DHS’s Management Directive (MD) 5100.1,
28 Environmental Planning Program. The CEQ was established under NEPA to
29 implement and oversee Federal policy in this process. CEQ regulations specify
30 the following when preparing an EIS:

31 An EIS is prepared when a proposed action is anticipated to have “significant”


32 environmental impact, or a proposed action is environmentally controversial. An
33 EIS generally presents separate chapters specifically tailored to address the
34 following:

35 • The need for the Proposed Action


36 • Reasonable alternatives to the Proposed Action
37 • The affected environment
38
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1 • The nature and extent of environmental impacts of the Proposed


2 Action and alternatives (including the “No Action Alternative”)
3 • A listing of agencies and personnel contacted during the EIS
4 preparation process and public involvement efforts.

5 To comply with NEPA, the planning and decisionmaking process for actions
6 proposed by Federal agencies involves a study of other relevant environmental
7 statutes and regulations. The NEPA process, however, does not replace
8 procedural or substantive requirements of other environmental statutes and
9 regulations. It addresses them collectively in the form of an Environmental
10 Assessment (EA) or EIS, which enables the decisionmaker to have a
11 comprehensive view of major environmental issues and requirements associated
12 with the Proposed Action. According to CEQ regulations, the requirements of
13 NEPA must be integrated “with other planning and environmental review
14 procedures required by law or by an agency so that all such procedures run
15 concurrently rather than consecutively.”

16 Within the framework of environmental impact analysis under NEPA, additional


17 authorities that can also be considered include the Clean Air Act, CWA (including
18 a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System [NPDES] storm water
19 discharge permit), Noise Control Act, ESA, National Historic Preservation Act,
20 Archaeological Resources Protection Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery
21 Act, Coastal Zone Management Act, and Toxic Substances Control Act.
22 Executive Orders (EOs) bearing on the Proposed Action include EO 11988
23 (Floodplain Management), EO 11990 (Protection of Wetlands), EO 12088
24 (Federal Compliance with Pollution Control Standards), EO 12580 (Superfund
25 Implementation), EO 12898 (Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in
26 Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations), EO 13045 (Protection of
27 Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks), EO 13423
28 (Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation
29 Management), EO 13175 (Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal
30 Governments), and EO 13186 (Responsibilities of Federal Agencies to Protect
31 Migratory Birds).

32 1.4.2 California Environmental Quality Act


33 California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) as promulgated in the California
34 Public Resources Code §§21000-21177, was adopted in 1970 by the State of
35 California to inform governmental decisionmakers and the public about the
36 potential environmental effect of a project; identify ways to reduce adverse
37 impacts; offer alternatives to the project; and disclose to the public why a project
38 was approved. CEQA applies to projects undertaken, funded, or requiring an
39 issuance of a permit by a public agency. For this project, CEQA is applicable
40 because under Section 401 of the CWA (33 U.S.C. 1341), states and tribes are
41 delegated authority to approve, condition, or deny all Federal permits of licenses
42 that might result in a discharge to state or tribal waters, including wetlands.

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1 Projects that have a potential for resulting in physical change to the environment,
2 or that might be subject to several discretionary approvals by governmental
3 agencies including construction activities, clearing or grading of land,
4 improvements to existing structures, and activities or equipment involving the
5 issuance of a permit, are required to go through the CEQA process. For this
6 project, an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) would be required. An EIR is
7 prepared when the lead agency finds substantial evidence that the project might
8 have a significant effect on the environment. An EIR is a detailed report written
9 by the lead agency describing and analyzing the significant environmental effects
10 of a proposed project, identifying alternatives, and discussing ways to reduce or
11 avoid the possible environmental damage. This EIS will also serve as the EIR for
12 purposes of complying with CEQA.

13 1.5 PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT


14 Agency and public involvement in the NEPA process promotes open
15 communication between the public and the government and enhances the
16 decisionmaking process. All persons or organizations having a potential interest
17 in the Proposed Action are encouraged to participate in the decisionmaking
18 process.

19 NEPA and implementing regulations from the CEQ and DHS direct agencies to
20 make their EISs available to the public during the decisionmaking process and
21 prior to actions being taken. The premise of NEPA is that the quality of Federal
22 decisions will be enhanced if proponents provide information to the public and
23 involve the public in the planning process.

24 A public scoping process has been initiated for this EIS addressing the San
25 Diego Sector. On September 24, 2007, a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare this
26 EIS was published in the Federal Register (see Appendix A). Besides providing
27 a brief description of the Proposed Action and announcing USBP’s intent to
28 prepare this EIS, the NOI also established a 20-day public scoping period. The
29 purpose of the scoping process is to solicit public comment regarding the range
30 of issues, including potential impacts and alternatives that should be addressed
31 in the EIS. Public comments received during the public scoping period are taken
32 into consideration as part of the preparation of the Draft EIS/EIR.

33 On October __, 2007, a Notice of Preparation (NOP) for an EIR was sent to the
34 California State Clearinghouse to initiate the public review process under CEQA.
35 The Clearinghouse published the NOP on October __, 2007.

36 Public scoping is an open process for determining the scope of the EIS and
37 identifying significant issues that are related to the Proposed Action as described
38 above. Anyone wishing to provide comments, suggestions, or relevant
39 information regarding the Proposed Action may do so by submitting comments to
40 USBP by contacting SBInet, Tactical Infrastructure Program Office. To avoid
41 duplication, please use only one of the following methods:
San Diego Tactical Infrastructure EIS/EIR – Rev. 1 October 11, 2007

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1 a. Electronically through the Web site at: www.BorderFenceNEPA.com


2 b. By email to: SDcomments@BorderFenceNEPA.com
3 c. By mail to: San Diego PF-225 EIS, c/o e²M, 2751 Prosperity Avenue,
4 Suite 200, Fairfax, Virginia 22031
5 d. By fax to: (757)-282-7697.

6 In addition to the NOI published in the Federal Register, newspaper notices


7 coinciding with the NOI were published in San Diego Union Tribune and the San
8 Diego Daily Transcript on September 24, and 30, 2007. The notice was also
9 published in Spanish in La Prensa and Hispanos Unidos on September 28, 2007.
10 Copies of the newspaper notices are included in Appendix A.

11 Through the public involvement process, USBP also notified relevant Federal,
12 state, and local agencies of the Proposed Action and requested input regarding
13 environmental concerns they might have regarding the Proposed Action. The
14 public involvement process provides USBP with the opportunity to cooperate with
15 and consider state and local views in its decision regarding implementing this
16 Federal proposal. As part of the EIS/EIR process, USBP has coordinated with
17 agencies such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA); U.S. Fish
18 and Wildlife Service (USFWS); California State Historic Preservation Office
19 (SHPO); and other Federal, state, and local agencies (see Appendix A). Input
20 from agency responses has been incorporated into the analysis of potential
21 environmental impacts.

22 Throughout the NEPA and CEQA processes, the public may obtain information
23 concerning the status and progress of the EIS/EIR via the project web site at
24 www.BorderFenceNEPA.com, by emailing information@BorderFenceNEPA.com,
25 or by written request to Mr. (b) (6) Environmental Manager, U.S.
26 Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Fort Worth District, Engineering Construction
27 Support Office (ECSO), 814 Taylor Street, Room 3A28, Fort Worth, TX 76102;
28 and Fax: (817)-886-6404.

29 1.6 COOPERATING AGENCIES


30 As cooperating agencies, the USACE-Los Angeles District, the USFWS, Palm
31 Springs South Coast Field Office of the BLM and _names of other agencies to
32 be inserted here_ also have decisionmaking authority for components of the
33 Proposed Action and intend for this EIS/EIR to fulfill their requirements for
34 compliance with NEPA. The CEQ regulations implementing NEPA instruct
35 agencies to combine environmental documents in compliance with NEPA to
36 reduce duplication and paperwork (40 Code of Federal Regulations [CFR]
37 1506.4).

38 The USACE-Los Angeles District will act on applications for Department of the
39 Army permits pursuant to Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33

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1 United States Code [U.S.C.] 403), and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act
2 (CWA) (33 U.S.C. 1344).

3 The Palm Springs South Coast Field Office of BLM has jurisdiction over most of
4 the land traversed by the Proposed Action. BLM also has oversight for OMW
5 which is directly to the north of one of the fence segments. Any activity occurring
6 within the BLM owned portions of the Proposed Action or the adjacent OMW will
7 require approval and oversight by the Palm Springs South Coast Field Office of
8 BLM.

9 Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) (P.L. 93-205, December 28,
10 1973) states that any project authorized, funded, or conducted by any Federal
11 agency should not “…jeopardize the continued existence of any endangered
12 species or threatened species or result in the destruction or adverse modification
13 of habitat of such species which is determined … to be critical.” The USFWS is a
14 cooperating agency regarding this Proposed Action to determine whether any
15 federally listed, proposed endangered, or proposed threatened species or their
16 designated critical habitats would be adversely impacted by the Proposed Action.
17 As a cooperating agency, USFWS will assist in streamlining the Section 7
18 consultation process, identifying the nature and extent of potential effects, and
19 developing measures that would avoid or reduce potential effects on any species
20 of concern. The USFWS will issue their Biological Opinion (BO) of the potential
21 for jeopardy. If their opinion is that the project is not likely to jeopardize any listed
22 species, they can also issue an incidental take statement as an exception to the
23 prohibitions in Section 9 of the ESA.

24 [[Preparer’s Note: Information on additional cooperating agencies (if any)


25 will be incorporated when that information becomes available.]]

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1 2. PROPOSED ACTION AND ALTERNATIVES

2 2.1 SCREENING CRITERIA FOR ALTERNATIVES


3 This section presents USBP’s proposal to construct, maintain, and operate
4 tactical infrastructure along the U.S./Mexico international border in USBP San
5 Diego Sector, California. Each alternative to the Proposed Action considered in
6 this EIS/EIR concerning location, construction, and operation of tactical
7 infrastructure must be reasonable and meet USBP’s Purpose and Need (as
8 described in Section 1.2). Such alternatives must also meet essential technical,
9 engineering, and economic threshold requirements to ensure that each is
10 environmentally sound, economically viable, and complies with governing
11 standards and regulations. The following screening criteria were used to develop
12 the Proposed Action and evaluate potential alternatives.

13 • USBP Operational Requirements. Primary border fencing must


14 support USBP mission needs to hinder or delay individuals crossing
15 the border. Once they have entered an urban area or suburban
16 neighborhood, it is much more difficult for USBP agents to identify and
17 apprehend suspects engaged in unlawful border entry. In addition,
18 around populated areas it is relatively easy for illegal border crossers
19 to find transportation into the interior of the United States. USBP
20 undertook a detailed screening process to develop a combination of
21 tactical infrastructure to include fence, technology, and other resources
22 that would best meet its operational needs.
23 • Border Areas Without Primary Fence. To meet USBP mission and
24 operational requirements, areas along the U.S./Mexico international
25 border that do not currently have primary fencing have been identified
26 as locations where primary fence would significantly contribute to
27 USBP’s priority mission of homeland security.
28 • Threatened or Endangered Species and Critical Habitat. The
29 construction, maintenance, and operation of the proposed tactical
30 infrastructure would be designed to minimize adverse impacts on
31 threatened or endangered species and their critical habitat to the
32 maximum extent practical. USBP is working with the USFWS as a
33 cooperating agency to identify potential conservation and mitigation
34 measures.
35 • Wetlands and Floodplains. The construction, maintenance, and
36 operation of the proposed tactical infrastructure would be designed to
37 minimize impacts on wetlands, waters, and floodplain resources to the
38 maximum extent practical. USBP is working with the USACE-Los
39 Angeles District as a cooperating agency to minimize wetland and
40 floodplain impacts.

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1 • Cultural and Historic Resources. The construction, maintenance, and


2 operation of the proposed tactical infrastructure would be designed to
3 minimize impacts on cultural and historic resources to the maximum
4 extent practical. USBP is working with the California SHPO to identify
5 potential conservation and mitigation measures.

6 Section 2.2.1 presents the No Action Alternative. Section 2.2.2 provides


7 specific details of the Proposed Action, Section 2.2.3 discusses the Secure
8 Fence Act Alternative, and Section 2.3 discusses alternatives considered but not
9 analyzed in detail.

10 2.2 ALTERNATIVES ANALYSIS


11 2.2.1 Alternative 1: No Action Alternative
12 Under the No Action Alternative, the proposed tactical infrastructure would not be
13 built and there would be no change in fencing, access roads, or other facilities
14 along the U.S./Mexico international border in the proposed project locations
15 within USBP San Diego Sector. The No Action Alternative would not meet USBP
16 mission or operational needs. However, inclusion of the No Action Alternative is
17 prescribed by the CEQ regulations and will be carried forward for analysis in the
18 EIS/EIR. The No Action Alternative also serves as a baseline against which to
19 evaluate the impacts of the Proposed Action.

20 2.2.2 Alternative 2: Proposed Action


21 USBP proposes to construct, maintain, and operate tactical infrastructure
22 consisting of pedestrian fence, access roads, patrol roads, and construction
23 staging areas along the U.S./Mexico international border in the San Diego
24 Sector, California. Congress has appropriated funds for the construction of the
25 proposed tactical infrastructure. Construction of additional tactical infrastructure
26 might be required in the future as mission and operational requirements are
27 continually reassessed.
28 Within USBP San Diego Sector, areas for tactical infrastructure improvements
29 have been identified that would help the Brown Field Station gain effective
30 control of the border adjacent to the OMW. USBP has identified this area of the
31 border as a location where primary fence would significantly contribute to USBP’s
32 priority mission of homeland security.

33 The proposed tactical infrastructure would be constructed in two segments (A-1


34 and A-2) along the border within USBP San Diego Sector, in San Diego County,
35 California. These segments are shown on Figure 1-1 and listed in Table 2-1.

36

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1 Table 2-1. Proposed Fence Segments for USBP San Diego Sector

Fence Border Length of


General
Segment Patrol Land Ownership Fence
Location
Number Station Segment
A-1 Brown Field Pak Truck Trail Public: BLM 4.88
managed
A-2 Brown Field West of Tecate Private 0.69
Total 5.57

2 If approved, the final design would be developed by a design/build contractor


3 overseen by the USACE. However, design criteria that have been established
4 based on USBP operational needs require that, at a minimum, any fencing must
5 meet the following requirements:

6 • 15 feet high and extend below ground


7 • Capable of withstanding a crash of a 10,000-pound (gross weight)
8 vehicle traveling at 40 miles per hour
9 • Capable of withstanding vandalism, cutting, or various types of
10 penetration
11 • Semi-transparent, as dictated by operational need
12 • Designed to survive extreme climate changes
13 • Designed to reduce or minimize impacts on small animal movements
14 • Not impede the natural flow of surface water
15 • Aesthetically pleasing to the extent possible.

16 Typical pedestrian fence designs that could be used are included in Appendix B.

17 [[Preparer’s Note: Additional information regarding new patrol roads,


18 access roads (construction roads) (locations, miles and acres potentially
19 impacted), staging areas, sensors (if any), etc. is requested.]]

20 These portions of the primary fence are designated as Segments A-1 and A-2 on
21 Figure 1-1. Segment A-1 is approximately 4.9 miles in length and would start at
22 Puebla Tree and end at Boundary Monument 250. The proposed segment would
23 be adjacent to and south of the OMW, would follow the Pak Truck Trail, and
24 would not connect to any existing fence. The OMW is on public lands
25 administered by BLM. The wilderness boundary is at least 100 feet from the
26 U.S./Mexico international border, and the proposed fence would occur in this
27 corridor between the U.S./Mexico international border and the wilderness
28 boundary. However, due to steep topography, a portion of road or other tactical
29 infrastructure might encroach into the wilderness area.

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1 Segment A-2 would be approximately 0.7 miles in length and would connect with
2 existing border fence west of Tecate. This fence segment is an extension of an
3 existing fence on Tecate Peak and would pass through a riparian area. This
4 proposed fence segment could encroach on multiple privately owned land
5 parcels. Construction of this fence segment would include an upgrade to an
6 access road west of Tecate.

7 Construction of this fence segment would significantly contribute to USBP’s


8 priority mission of homeland security.

9 [[Preparer’s Note: Information on the preliminary design of access and


10 patrol roads is requested.]]

11 Two Route Alternatives are being considered for the 2 segments. Route A is the
12 route initially identified by USBP San Diego Sector as best meeting its
13 operational needs and would be approximately 3 feet north of the U.S./Mexico
14 international border within the Roosevelt Reservation.1 Route A would require
15 significant amounts of blasting activity, cut and fill operations, creation of at least
16 two stationing areas, construction of switchback roads, and general improvement
17 to existing access roads would be required to construct, maintain, and operate
18 the fence and an adjacent patrol road.

19 [[Preparer’s Note: Calculations will be included when available.]]

20 Route B would modify some of the segment alignments to avoid or minimize


21 environmental impacts. Route B was developed during the EIS/EIR development
22 process through consultation with cooperating agencies to identify a route
23 alternative with fewer adverse environmental impacts. Therefore, Route B
24 represents a compromise alignment that takes into account a balance between
25 operational effectiveness of proposed tactical infrastructure and environmental
26 quality. Although Route B would have fewer impacts than Route A, it would
27 require significant amounts of blasting activity, cut and fill operations, creation of
28 at least two stationing areas, construction of switchback roads, and general
29 improvement to existing access roads.

30 [[Preparer’s Note: Calculations will be included when available.]]

31 Detailed differences between Routes A and B are shown on Figure 1-1 and are
32 presented in Appendix C.

1
In 1907, President Roosevelt reserved from entry and set apart as a public reservation all public
lands within 60 feet of the international boundary between the United States and Mexico within
the State of California and the Territories of Arizona and New Mexico. Known as the “Roosevelt
Reservation,” this land withdrawal was found “necessary for the public welfare ... as a protection
against the smuggling of goods.” The proclamation excepted from the reservation all lands,
which, as of its date, were (1) embraced in any legal entry; (2) covered by any lawful filing,
selection, or rights of way duly recorded in the proper U.S. Land Office; (3) validly settled
pursuant to law; or (4) within any withdrawal or reservation for any use or purpose inconsistent
with its purposes (CRS 2006).
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1 [[Preparer’s note: More details on Route A and B alignment differences will


2 be developed once they are available. Appendix C will be compiled and
3 Figure 1-1 will be updated, once that information is received.]]

4 The proposed tactical infrastructure would impact an approximate 60-foot wide


5 corridor along each fence segment. This corridor would include fences, access
6 roads, patrol roads, and construction staging areas. Vegetation would be cleared
7 and grading may occur where needed. The area temporarily impacted within the
8 two segments (both route alternatives) would be approximately 41 acres.
9 Wherever possible, existing roads would be used for construction access.
10 Figure 2-1 shows a typical schematic of temporary and permanent impact areas
11 for tactical infrastructure for both route alternatives.

12 [[Preparer’s Note: USBP will obtain information on access and patrol roads
13 in include here when preliminary design is available.]]

14 Construction of the proposed tactical infrastructure would require minor


15 adjustments in USBP operations in the San Diego Sector.

16 [[Preparer’s Note: USBP input on potential changes in operations due to


17 the new tactical infrastructure, and reasonably foreseeable maintenance
18 issues with the fence and patrol roads is requested.]]

19 If approved, construction of the proposed tactical infrastructure would begin in


20 Spring 2008 and continue through December 31, 2008.

21 Construction of other tactical infrastructure might be required in the future as


22 mission and operational requirements are continually reassessed. To the extent
23 that additional actions are known, they are discussed in Section 5, Cumulative
24 Impacts, of this EIS/EIR. Both Route A and Route B are viable and will be
25 evaluated in the EIS/EIR.

26 2.2.3 Alternative 3: Secure Fence Act Alignment Alternative


27 The Secure Fence Act of 2006 (P.L. 109-367) directed USBP to construct at
28 least two layers of reinforced fencing along the U.S./Mexico international border.
29 Two layers of fence, known as primary and secondary fence, would be
30 constructed approximately 130 feet apart along the same route as Alternative 2,
31 Route B.

32 This alternative would also include construction and maintenance of access and
33 patrol roads. The patrol road would be between the primary secondary fences.
34 Figure 2-2 shows a typical schematic of permanent and temporary impact areas
35 for this alternative. The design of the tactical infrastructure for Alternative 3
36 would be similar to that of Alternative 2.

37

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NOT TO SCALE
±

PRIMARY FENCE
FENCE PERMANENT IMPACT AREA
50'

PATROL ROAD

3'
TEMPORARY IMPACT AREA
CONSTRUCTION

7'

60' ROOSEVELT RESERVATION


United States
Mexico

2 Figure 2-1. Schematic of Proposed Impact Areas – Alternative 2

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NOT TO SCALE
±
SECONDARY FENCE

PRIMARY FENCE
PATROL ROAD

130’ PERMANENT IMPACT AREA


United States
Mexico

1
2
3 Figure 2-2. Schematic of Proposed Impact Areas – Alternative 3

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1 Construction of the proposed tactical infrastructure would impact an approximate


2 130-foot wide corridor for 5.6 miles along the two fence segments. This
3 construction corridor would accommodate access roads and construction staging
4 areas. Vegetation would be cleared and grading may occur where needed.
5 Wherever possible, existing roads would be used for construction access. This is
6 a viable alternative and will be evaluated in the EIS/EIR.

7 2.3 ALTERNATIVES CONSIDERED BUT ELIMINATED FROM FURTHER


8 DETAILED ANALYSIS
9 USBP evaluated possible alternatives to the Proposed Action and determined
10 that the Proposed Action described in this document is the best option for USBP
11 to achieve its missions of stopping and deterring illegal border crossing.

12 2.3.1 Fence Types


13 Pedestrian, aesthetic, or hybrid fence alternatives were considered. The final
14 fence design will be determined during the final design phase based on
15 operational parameters and maintenance requirements. The foundations, fence
16 heights, construction, maintenance, and operational requirements would be the
17 same for any fence alternative selected. Therefore, the environmental impacts of
18 constructing, maintaining, and operating any of the three fence designs would be
19 virtually identical. Therefore, only the pedestrian fence design is evaluated in
20 detail in this EIS/EIR. Razor wire topped fences might be an effective addition to
21 fence but might severely injure or kill people attempting to cross the border.
22 Therefore, razor wire topped fence was not evaluated in detail in this EIS/EIR.

23 2.3.2 Additional USBP Agents in Lieu of Tactical Infrastructure


24 USBP maintains an aggressive hiring program and a cadre of well-trained and
25 disciplined agents. Solely, the physical presence of an increased number of
26 agents may provide an enhanced level of deterrence against illegal entry into the
27 United States. However, additional agents alone, in lieu of the proposed tactical
28 infrastructure, would not provide a practical solution to achieving effective control
29 of the border in USBP San Diego Sector. As such, this alternative will not be
30 carried forward for further analysis.

31 [[Preparer’s Note: USBP requests additional information why hiring new


32 agents alone would not meet the Purpose and Need.]]

33 2.3.3 Technology in Lieu of Tactical Infrastructure


34 Under this alternative, USBP would use radar, cameras, lights, and other
35 technology to identify illegal border crossings. The use of technology in certain
36 sparsely populated areas is a critical component of SBInet and an effective force
37 multiplier that allows USBP to monitor large areas and deploy agents to where
38 they will be most effective. However, in the more densely populated areas within
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1 the San Diego Sector, physical barriers represent the most effective means to
2 control illegal entry into the United States. The use of technology alone would
3 not provide a practical solution to achieving effective control of the border in
4 USBP San Diego Sector. Therefore, this alternative would not meet the purpose
5 and need as described in Section 1.2 and will not be carried forward for further
6 analysis.

7 2.4 SUMMARY
8 [[Preparer’s Note: This section will be included in the Preliminary Draft
9 EIS/EIR.]]

10 2.5 IDENTIFICATION OF THE ENVIRONMENTALLY PREFERRED


11 ALTERNATIVE
12 CEQ’s implementing regulation 40 CFR 1502.14(c) instructs EIS preparers to
13 “Identify the agency’s preferred alternative or alternatives, if one or more exists,
14 in the draft statement and identify such alternative in the final statement unless
15 another law prohibits the expression of such a preference.” USBP has identified
16 its Preferred Alternative as Alternative 2, Route B.

17 Implementation of Alternative 2, Route B would meet USBP’s purpose and need


18 described in Section 1.2. The No Action Alternative would not meet USBP’s
19 purpose and need. Alternative 3 would meet USBP’s purpose and need but
20 would have greater environmental impacts compared to the preferred alternative
21 without substantially increasing USBP’s ability to effectively control these areas
22 of the U.S./Mexico international border.

23

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1 3. REFERENCES

CBP 2006 U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). 2006. CBP Border
Patrol Overview, January 11, 2006. Available online:
<www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/border_security/border_patrol/overview.xm>.
Accessed August 16, 2007.

CBP 2007 CBP. 2007. San Diego Sector (California) Homepage. Available
online: <http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/border_security/border_patrol/
border_patrol_sectors/sandiego_sector_ca/>. Accessed October 2,
2007.

CRS 2006 Congressional Research Service (CRS). 2006. “Report For


Congress.” Border Security: Barriers Along the U.S. International
Border. December 12, 2006.

USBP 2004 U.S. Border Patrol, National Border Patrol Strategy, September
2004. Available online:
<www.cbp.gov/linkhandler/cgov/border_security/border_patrol/natio
nal_bp_strategy.ctt/national_bp_strategy.pdf>.

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APPENDIX A
PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT AND AGENCY COORDINATION
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APPENDIX B
POTENTIAL FENCING DESIGNS
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1 USBP currently uses the following three main types of barriers along the border:

2 • Primary fencing on international border


3 • Secondary double fencing to complement the primary fencing
4 • Vehicle barriers meant to stop vehicles, but not people on foot.

5 There are several types of primary border fence designs USBP can select for
6 construction depending on various site conditions and law enforcement tactics
7 employed. Each option offers relative advantages and disadvantages. Fencing
8 based on concrete panels, for example, is among the more cost-effective
9 solutions but USBP agents cannot see through this type of barrier. USBP prefers
10 fencing structures offering visual transparency, allowing observation of activities
11 developing on the other side of the border.

12 Over the past decade, USBP has deployed a variety of types of primary fencing,
13 such as bollard-type fencing, ornamental picket fencing, landing mat fencing,
14 chain-link fencing. Bollard fencing has been effective in its limited deployment
15 and can also be seen through. However, it is expensive to construct and to
16 maintain. Landing mat fencing is composed of army surplus carbon steel landing
17 mats which were used to create landing strips during the Vietnam War. Chain-
18 link fencing is relatively economical, but more easily compromised. In selecting
19 particular fencing designs, USBP weighs various factors such as, their utility as
20 law enforcement tool, costs associated with its construction and maintenance,
21 potential environmental impacts, and other public interest concerns. USBP
22 continues to develop varying fence designs to best address these competing
23 objectives and constraints.

24 Prototypes of the current fencing designs, their performance specifications, and


25 photograph are provided in Figures B-1 through B-x.

26 USBP developed a variety of barrier designs to stop vehicles from easily crossing
27 into the United States from Mexico. Some of these barriers are fabricated to be
28 used as temporary placement and typically not anchored with foundations.
29 Because they are not permanently anchored, they could be easily moved to
30 different locations with heavy construction equipment. Temporary vehicle
31 barriers are typically built from welded metal, such as railroad track, but can also
32 be constructed from telephone poles or pipe. These barriers are built so that
33 they cannot be easily rolled or moved using manual labor only. They are placed
34 and typically chained together on areas of high potential for vehicle entry.

35 Permanent vehicle barriers typically consist of steel posts or bollards with a


36 concrete foundation base. The posts alternate in aboveground height in order to
37 prevent individuals from forming a ramp over the barrier. USBP is working on
38 developing different types of vehicle barrier designs and performance
39 specifications Figure B-1 through B-x provides photographs of several
40 prototypes.

B-1
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1 [[Preparer’s Note: USBP will insert additional photographs of standard


2 fence types when available.]]

3
4 Figure B-1. Typical Pedestrian Fence Foundation

5
6 Figure B-2. Typical Pedestrian Fence Design

B-2