New prison impact statement available for review

John Richmeier

A draft of a supplemental environmental impact statement for a proposed new federal prison in Leavenworth is now available for public review.

The document, which is referred to as DSEIS, can be found on the project’s website,

A 45-day review period of the document officially will begin Friday and conclude Jan. 4. A virtual public hearing about the proposed federal prison and the environment impact statement is planned for Dec. 3, according to Kimberly S. Hudson, site selection specialist for the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

The BOP is planning to construct a new Federal Correctional Institution and Federal Prison Camp on the grounds of the U.S. Penitentiary in Leavenworth. The new FCI would replace the existing penitentiary. But BOP officials have said they want to find a future use for the old prison.

Funding for the new prison and satellite camp totals $356 million.

Hudson wrote in a letter regarding the DEIS that the new FCI will be designed to house about 1,152 medium-security male inmates. The camp will be designed to house about 256 minimum-security male inmates.

BOP officials have discussed a new prison in Leavenworth for some time. In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act, a final environmental impact statement was completed for a new Leavenworth federal prison in 2015. But a decision about whether to proceed with the project was delayed at that time.

Now that funding has been appropriated for the project, the NEPA process has resumed with the draft of the supplemental environmental impact statement.

“The DSEIS considers potential impacts to the natural and manmade environments resulting from the proposed project including land use, socioeconomics, air quality, noise, transportation, utility services, cultural resources, aesthetic and visual resources, hydrological and biological resources, among other topics and is being made available to fulfill the requirements of NEPA,” Hudson wrote in the letter.

An abstract prepared for the draft of the supplemental environmental impact statement states “the proposed project should result in no significant adverse impacts as defined by NEPA while resulting in such positive impacts as creation of modern correctional facilities to house a portion of the federal inmate population; stimulation of the local and regional economies with creation of employment opportunities during the project’s construction phase, and maintaining BOP employment during the operating phase. Cumulative, secondary and construction-related impacts and any other potentially adverse impacts would be controlled, mitigated or avoided to the maximum extent possible.”

The public hearing will begin at 6 p.m. Dec. 3. The meeting will be conducted through the Zoom online videoconferencing service. The Zoom link for the meeting is

The Zoom meeting identification number is 874 1549 6088. The passcode is 889062.

People also can participate by telephone by calling 877-829-8910. The conference code is


People also can provide written comments concerning the environmental impact statement and the proposed prison project.

Comments can be mailed to Kimberly S. Hudson, site selection specialist, Construction and Environmental Review Branch, Federal Bureau of Prisons, 320 First Street, NW, Room 901-5, Washington, D.C., 20534.

Comments also can be emailed to

Comments also can be submitted through the project’s website.

Comments will be accepted through Jan. 4.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR