[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 219 (Tuesday, November 13, 2012)]
[Pages 67659-67660]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-27555]



U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Notice of Availability of the Final Programmatic Environmental 
Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact for the Deployment and 
Operation of Low Energy X-Ray Inspection Systems at U.S. Customs and 
Border Protection Operational Areas

AGENCY: U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland 

ACTION: Notice of availability.


SUMMARY: U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announces that a 
final Programmatic Environmental Assessment (PEA) and a Finding of No 
Significant Impact (FONSI) for Low Energy X-Ray Inspection Systems 
(LEXRIS) at CBP operational areas have been prepared and are available 
for public review. The final PEA documents a review of the potential 
environmental impacts from the deployment and use of LEXRIS at CBP 
operational areas throughout the country. Based on the final PEA, a 
determination was made that the proposed action will not significantly 
affect the quality of the human environment and a FONSI was issued. As 
a result, a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) is not 

DATES: The Final PEA and FONSI are available for review through 
December 13, 2012.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the final PEA AND FONSI may be obtained by 
accessing the following Internet addresses: http://ecso.swf.usace.army.mil/Pages/Publicreview.cfm or www.dhs.gov/nepa, or 
by sending a request to David Duncan of CBP by telephone (202-344-
1527), by fax (202-344-1418), by email to [email protected] or by 
writing to: CBP, Attn: David Duncan, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., 
Suite 1575, Washington, DC 20229.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Antoinette DiVittorio, Environmental 
and Energy Division, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, telephone 
(202) 344-3131.



    LEXRIS is a low energy x-ray inspection system. The purpose of 
deploying and operating LEXRIS is to non-intrusively scan vehicles for 
the presence of contraband, including weapons of mass destruction,

[[Page 67660]]

explosives, and illicit drugs. The use of LEXRIS at, for example U.S. 
ports of entry, directly supports CBP's mission of securing the U.S. 
borders and homeland from terrorists and other threats while 
simultaneously facilitating legitimate trade and travel by assisting 
CBP personnel in preventing contraband, including illegal drugs and 
terrorist weapons, from entering the United States.
    Two different LEXRIS systems are available. One system is mobile, 
mounted on a truck or van type platform and will be used at CBP 
operational areas. The system can be driven alongside a parked vehicle 
in a controlled area and will scan the vehicle as it drives by. Before 
the vehicle is scanned, the driver and passenger(s) will exit the 
vehicle and be escorted outside the controlled area. The other system 
is a stationary, portal configuration that will be installed along an 
existing traffic lane. Vehicles will be scanned as they are driven 
through the portal. Occupants of the vehicle will have the option of 
remaining in the vehicle while the driver drives it through the portal 
or exiting the vehicle and having CBP personnel drive it through the 
portal. Examples of CBP operational areas include, but are not limited 
to, ports of entry, CBP checkpoints, and locations of events designated 
as national special security events.
    LEXRIS is needed to fill a unique capability to detect objects that 
are not effectively visualized by other non-intrusive inspection 
technologies currently used by CBP. LEXRIS gives a clear image of 
objects in the vehicle, including objects that may be hidden in 
fenders, tires, trunks, gas tanks, and under hoods. LEXRIS provides CBP 
personnel with information about what may be encountered during a 
manual search and, in some cases, will eliminate the need for CBP 
personnel to manually enter vehicles to search for contraband. As a 
result, LEXRIS will increase the safety of CBP personnel.

The NEPA Process

    The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 
4321 et seq.) requires an agency to evaluate the environmental 
implications of any proposed major action that could significantly 
affect the quality of the human environment. Generally, to meet the 
NEPA requirements, an agency prepares an Environmental Assessment (EA) 
to determine whether a more thorough analysis of the environmental 
implications is necessary. If such an analysis is necessary, the agency 
will produce an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). If additional 
analysis is not necessary, the agency will issue a Finding of No 
Significant Impact (FONSI). A Programmatic Environmental Assessment 
(PEA) is an EA that evaluates a major action on a broad, programmatic 
basis. Environmental evaluations at specific project locations are 
conducted later.


    On January 18, 2012, CBP published a notice in the Federal Register 
(77 FR 2562) entitled: ``Notice of Availability of the Draft 
Programmatic Environmental Assessment for the Deployment and Operation 
of Low Energy X-Ray Inspection Systems at U.S. Customs and Border 
Protection Operational Areas.'' This notice announced that a draft PEA 
concerning LEXRIS had been prepared and made available to the public in 
accordance with NEPA, the Council on Environmental Quality Regulations 
for Implementing the NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500-1508), and Department of 
Homeland Security Directive 023-01, Environmental Planning Program 
(April 19, 2006). The draft PEA addressed the potential effects on 
resources present at CBP operational areas, including: Climate, soils, 
water quality, air quality, vegetation, wildlife, noise, 
infrastructure, aesthetics, and radiological health and safety. The 
notice informed the public on how to obtain a copy of the draft PEA and 
requested comments from the public on the draft PEA. The draft was made 
available for a 30 day public comment period, beginning on the date of 
the publication of the notice. The comment period ended on February 17, 
2012. Two comments were received.
    CBP has now prepared the final PEA addressing the potential effects 
on resources for the deployment and operation of LEXRIS at CBP 
operational areas. The comments received on the draft PEA have been 
reviewed and are addressed in the final PEA. On the basis of the final 
PEA, CBP determined that the deployment and operation of LEXRIS will 
have no significant impact on human health or the environment and that 
preparation of a PEIS is not necessary. A FONSI was issued on April 10, 
2012. This document announces that the final PEA and the FONSI for 
LEXRIS can be reviewed by the public. The environmental implications 
for individual CBP operational areas will be considered as LEXRIS is 

    Dated: October 25, 2012.
 Karl H. Calvo,
 Executive Director, Facilities Management and Engineering, Office of 
Administration, U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
[FR Doc. 2012-27555 Filed 11-9-12; 8:45 am]