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     [Federal Register: May 9, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 90)]
[Page 26856-26857]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []



Immigration and Naturalization Service

[INS No. 2053-00]

Notice of Intent To Prepare a Draft Environmental Impact 
Statement for the Construction of a Detention Facility in the Houston, 
Texas Area

AGENCY: Immigration and Naturalization Service, Justice.

ACTION: Notice of Intent to Prepare a Draft Environmental Impact 
Statement (DEIS).



Proposed Action

    The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) will prepare a 
Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for evaluation of the 
environmental impacts of the construction of a Contractor-Owned 
Contractor-Operated (COCO) detention facility near Houston, Texas. The 
INS has a requirement to expand the total capacity in the area by 494 
beds. The facility is needed in the Houston area (within a 35 mile 
radius from the George Bush International Airport) to house and care 
for illegal aliens detained by the INS for illegal entry into the 
United States. With regard to planned construction, the DEIS will

include evaluations of water, sewage system, parking, supporting 
administrative spaces, gates, gate access, lighting, and surveillance 
components. The direct project impacts, as well as cumulative impacts 
of the project, will also be addressed in the DEIS. According to the 
Council on Environmental Quality's regulation 40 CFR 1508.22, a scoping 
process is required prior to preparing a DEIS. As part of the DEIS 
process, the INS will hold a public meeting in the Houston, Texas area. 
Interested parties will be invited to help identify significant 
environmentally related items for evaluation in the DEIS. Notices will 
be published in the Houston local newspapers to provide the time, date, 
and location of the hearing.


    The DEIS will include discussions of the alternative approaches to 
fulfilling the requirement for a detention facility in the area. This 
will include a review of potential construction sites within a 35-mile 
radius of the George Bush International Airport. The No Action 
alternative (i.e., cancellation of the proposed project) will also be 

Scoping Process

    In developing the DEIS, interested parties and the public are 
invited to help decide the most significant issues to be examined. A 
scoping meeting will be held in the Houston area in the future. Notice 
of the meeting will be published in local newspapers prior to the 
meeting indicating the date, time, and location of the meeting.

DEIS Preparation

    The identified significant and relevant scoping issues will be used 
to determine the environmental focus of the DEIS. Environmental experts 
will be used to prepare the analysis of the major environmental 
concerns in the DEIS. After completion, the DEIS will be made available 
for public review and comment prior to the preparation of the Final 
Environmental Impact Statement.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Richard Diefenbeck, Director of 
Facilities and Engineering Division, 425 ``I'' Street, NW, Washington, 
DC 20536, Telephone 202-514-3099.

    Dated: May 1, 2000.
Doris Miessner,
Commissioner, Immigration and Naturalization Service.
[FR Doc. 00-11555 Filed 5-8-00; 8:45 am]

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