LEED Is Broken; Lets Fix It

By Lawrence Rose,2014-11-13 16:15
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LEED Is Broken; Lets Fix It


Q: What is a land port of entry?

    A: A land port of entry is the facility that provides controlled entry in and out of the United

    States for people and materials. It houses the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and

    other Federal Inspection Agencies responsible for the enforcement of federal laws. A

    land port of entry consists of the land, the buildings, the on-site roadways, and parking

    lots occupied by the port of entry.

Q: What is GSA’s role in maintaining and operating land ports of entry?

A: GSA is responsible for building and maintaining most of the nation’s land ports, as well

    as doing maintenance, repair and management. GSA’s role helps increase free trade,

    improve security, improve traffic and relieve congestion at border crossings.

    Q: How does GSA work with its federal partners to determine what to build or

    renovate at a new land port of entry?

    A: The Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) submits a

    list of prioritized projects to GSA. Based on this list, GSA regional offices contract with a

    private sector to develop a feasibility study to define a project’s scope, budget and

    schedule to support a design prospectus. During the feasibility study, GSA works with

    CBP to establish overall program areas including commercial and POV lanes, inspection

    facilities, dog kennels and other areas necessary to accommodate CBP’s needs. Once

    the project’s scope has been determined, and its costs have been established, the

    region submits a project design prospectus to GSA’s national office for review and

    integration into the annual capital program for submission to the Office of Management

    and Budget (OMB).

    All land ports of entry must be designed in accordance with GSA’s Facility Standards for

    the Public Building Service and U.S. Land Port of Entry Design Guide and must conform

    with a building code; either one adopted by the local jurisdiction providing fire emergency

    services, or one adopted by GSA. Land ports of entry must also conform to state

    highway regulations.

     For more information about GSA’s Land Ports of Entry Program, visit LAST UPDATED: 11/13/2010

    Q: What agreements does the U.S. have with Canada and Mexico to operate the land ports of entry, and how does that cost sharing process work?

    A: GSA works very closely with the Border Trade Alliance and therefore has a works closely with the government of Mexico to ensure the border region provides a sound platform for local stakeholders and federal government agencies to build relationships It is through collaboration that, when needed, GSA works with the BTA and the Mexican government to find workable solutions to the various issues affecting our borders, and thus our nations at large. That being said, many of the relationships the U.S. has with Mexico are public-private partnerships.

    Canada: Before 9/11, the U.S. and Canada had identified and prioritized locations for constructing joint facilities. Following 9/11 the Department of Homeland Security re-prioritized its list. The Manley-Ridge agreement and the Smart Border Declaration have kept the sharing of facilities concept in a somewhat active mode. The only proposed facilities currently on the table are: a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) inspection facility located at the Peace Bridge (Buffalo, NY) crossing and adjacent to the new Canadian inspection facility currently under construction (Fort Erie, Canada); as well as a shared facility located on the U.S. side (Alexandria Bay, NY) of the Thousand Island Bridge.

    There are some common joint facilities on the international border in which United States and Canada’s Customs and Immigration Services perform their legal authority on the

    boundary line. Both countries’ customs services may share utilities and services such as heating, sewage, water, air conditioning, janitorial, and building maintenance. Some employee facilities at each land port of entry, such as training classrooms, locker rooms and administrative offices, may be shared due to twenty four hour shift assignments and to enable employees, particularly law enforcement personnel, to complete educational requirements to maintain current certifications. These shared areas may be located on either or both sides of the border.

    There are implementing arrangements for each land port of entry that provide for the location, general description, estimated costs, design, construction, operation and maintenance of that individual operation.

    Q: What is the difference between a border patrol station and a land port of entry?

    A: A land port of entry houses the inspection facilities for legal border crossings. A border station houses the Border Patrol which is responsible for monitoring everything in between the official land ports of entry.

     For more information about GSA’s Land Ports of Entry Program, visit LAST UPDATED: 11/13/2010

    Q: How does GSA address environmental issues and concerns at new or expanded

    land ports of entry?

    A: GSA follows the protective measures outlined in the National Environmental Protection

    Act (NEPA), which establishes the requirement for environmental impact statements.

    After a new site is picked and the initial feasibility studies are completed, GSA initiates

    an environmental impact statement (EIS), at which time a Notice of Intent is published in

    the Federal Register. Public meetings are held, to which all interested stakeholders are

    invited to participate and submit their concerns on environmental issues. After this, a

    draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) is published and distributed to all

    stakeholders. After the DEIS is released, all stakeholders are again invited to attend and

    submit comments through the close of the public comment period. Additionally, GSA

    works closely with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to select a proposed

    alternative site and completes the final EIS.

    Q: How long does it typically take to get a new land port of entry operational once it

    is approved?

    A: Because each land port of entry is different, the length of time it takes to complete a

    project varies, depending on its size and location. A typical land port of entry requires at

    least seven years. Each new land port of entry goes through a similar construction

    process, which includes about a year to develop a scope of work or project plan; two

    years for Congressional approval; two years to design the port; and two years to actually

    build the port.

    Q: How many different partners does GSA have when building a new land port of


    A: GSA partners with the Department of State, the Department of Homeland Security,

    Customs and Border Protection, Federal and State Highway Administrations, a multitude

    of State and Local governmental agencies as well as private sector stakeholders on both

    sides of the border in the planning and development of a land port of entry project.

     To ensure that each project follows the necessary project standards and directives, each

    major project is assigned a program coordinator. These specialists review project

    scopes and design; interface with customers about their particular design requirements;

    organize the program’s independent cost estimate; and provide overall program

    expertise. Note: Please refer to the list of federal agencies in the Fact Sheet section of

    the binder for a full list of agencies involved various aspects of LPOEs.

     For more information about GSA’s Land Ports of Entry Program, visit LAST UPDATED: 11/13/2010

    Q: How much trade passes through an average land port of entry on a yearly basis?

    A: This depends on the land port of entry. For example, one land port of entry could be on a

    major shipping route and process a high volume of commercial traffic, but have virtually

    no pedestrian traffic. Another land port of entry can process as many as 15,000

    pedestrians each day, but have very little commercial traffic. About $2 billion in trade

    cross the Nation’s 163 border crossings each day, along with 350,000 vehicles, 135,000

    pedestrians, and 30,000 trucks.

    Q: What sort of security systems does GSA install in each land port of entry to

    ensure they are safe?

    A: While striving to meet federal agency customer needs at the borders, GSA does not

    focus solely on security, but also on facilitating the free flow of legitimate trade and

    travelers. GSA meets the security requirements for CBP, but any questions about

    security should be directed to CBP.

    Q: How many land ports of entry are along the Northern and Southern borders of the

    United States?

    A: There are 163 land ports of entry along the Northern and Southern borders, covering

    more than 1,900 miles between the United States and Mexico and more than 5,000

    miles between the U.S. and Canada. One hundred twenty (120) of these ports,

    approximately 75%, are under the jurisdiction and control of GSA.

Q: How many people enter the U.S. through land ports of entry each year?

    A: According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, in 2006, there were about 300

    million people who crossed the border into the U.S. in 130 million vehicles. This includes

    personal and commercial vehicles.

     For more information about GSA’s Land Ports of Entry Program, visit LAST UPDATED: 11/13/2010

    Q: If a crossing is designated by the state to be a hazardous material route, is there a

    special section at land ports of entry dedicated to hazardous materials crossing

    the border? How do we know those materials will not cause a problem at one of

    the ports?

    A: If the state has designated one of the ports as a hazardous material route GSA will build

    facilities to handle this. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Veterinary

    Services (VS) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) conduct the actual

    inspections of goods and people seeking entry into the U.S.

    Q: Are there any special design considerations GSA takes into account when

    building a new land port of entry?

    A: GSA coordinates with customs requirements as well as any special mandates, including

    EPACT, EISA, LEED Certifications to name a few. However, GSA also has two

    programs to make land ports of entry more aesthetically pleasing: the Art in Architecture

    Program and the Design Excellence Program. GSA reserves funds to commission local

    architects and artists. These programs implement rigorous review processes to produce

    facilities and civic artworks of outstanding quality and value. GSA’s Art in Architecture

    Program commissions publicly scaled artworks that are integral parts of the architectural

    fabric or surrounding landscapes of new Federal buildings.

     These programs have nationwide policies and procedures for selecting architects and

    artists for GSA commissions and implements rigorous review processes to ensure the

    work is of high quality. Publications, videos, exhibits, and other events, underwritten by

    the program, document the design excellence projects. The Biennial Design Awards

    Program honors "the best of the best."

     With the Design Excellence Program, GSA works with skilled architects and engineers to

    provide more aesthetically pleasing workspaces.

Q: Are any of the land ports of entry considered to be historical sites?

    A: Thirteen land ports of entry were put on the National Register of Historic Buildings in

    1986, although only 12 still remain. Other ports are potentially eligible, such as the port

    in Calexico, California. Typically buildings need to be at least 50 years old in order to be

    eligible for the National Register.

    # # #

     For more information about GSA’s Land Ports of Entry Program, visit LAST UPDATED: 11/13/2010

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