FY19 Rio Grande Valley Levee/Border Wall System Construction Projects (June 2019)
In accordance with President Biden’s Proclamation on the Termination of Emergency with Respect to the Southern Border of the U.S. and Redirection of Funds Diverted to Border Wall Construction, all border barrier construction projects have ceased.
CBP prepared the Final Environmental Stewardship Plan (ESP) to analyze the potential impacts of border barrier projects in Hidalgo County, Texas funded in Fiscal Year 2019 by CBP appropriations.
CBP proposed to construct border barrier projects within Rio Grande Valley, including: approximately 52 miles of border barrier in Starr County, Texas; approximately 24 miles of levee wall in Hidalgo County, Texas; and approximately 19 miles of levee/border wall in Cameron County, Texas.
The Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), pursuant to the authority granted under Section 102(c) of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA), issued an environmental waiver on October 10, 2018 covering the Rio Grande Valley levee wall project described in this ESP. Although the Secretary’s waiver means that CBP no longer has legal obligation under the laws included in the waiver, the Secretary committed DHS to responsible environmental stewardship of the nation’s valuable natural and cultural resources.
CBP developed an ESP to analyze the potential environmental effects associated with constructing 11.45 miles of levee wall in the USBP Rio Grande Valley (RGV) Sector Area near McAllen and Weslaco, Texas, following environmental and cultural resource surveys of the project areas, coordination and consultation with resource agencies and other interested stakeholders; evaluation of possible impacts; and identification of measures to avoid, minimize, or mitigate impacts. From June to September 2019, CBP sought public input on potential impacts to the environment, culture, and commerce, including potential socioeconomic impacts and quality of life. The comment period closed September 25, 2019. CBP used the substantive public comments to inform its environmental review of the projects.
CBP is currently working to remediate approximately 16 miles of non-contiguous disturbed earthen flood control levees located in Hidalgo County, Texas, within USBP’s RGV Sector, which were modified or removed in preparation for levee barrier construction. The earthen flood control levees need to be remediated with new concrete levees to ensure the safety of nearby communities from catastrophic flooding and to meet the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) technical requirements for certification and the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) flood-protection criteria. This does not include the construction of new border barrier. Maps of the levee remediation work are available under the Download Files menu.