EL PASO, Texas (Border Patrol) – Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has green-lighted remediation work in border barrier projects that represent a risk to humans or the environment.
The work is to take place in the El Paso, Yuma and San Diego sectors, DHS said in a statement on Tuesday.
“Work within the El Paso and Yuma sectors will include closing small gaps and installing incomplete gates, including seven open vehicle gate gaps in the Yuma Sector and one monument gap in the El Paso Sector,” DHS said.
The work includes finishing or installing drainage to prevent flooding, erosion control and slope stabilization, completing construction of access roads, adding guardrails, signage and addressing safety issues in roadways.
Crews will also dispose of leftover materials and close small gaps on the barrier and finishing the installation of gates that were only partially installed or left incomplete. The construction was initially carried out by the Department of Defense but was handed over to DHS in recent years.
“While the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ensured that DoD contractors made their work sites safe, if left incomplete or unaddressed, conditions at these locations create potential safety risks to CBP personnel and surrounding communities and pose a potential risk of flooding and property damage to communities and landowners,” DHS said in the statement. “They also create a risk of environmental degradation related to lack of proper grading, erosion control measures, and slope stabilization.”
DHS says it will work closely with stakeholders, including landowners and local government officials in each sector. The agency said it plans to do the work expeditiously but observing policies consistent with the National Environmental Policy Act.