Impact statement for new prison released by BOP

John Richmeier
The Leavenworth Times

A final supplemental environmental impact statement has been completed for a proposed new federal prison in Leavenworth.

And the document is now subject to a 30-day review period, according to Kimberly S. Hudson, site selection specialist for the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Officials with the BOP have proposed constructing a 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 new use for the old prison.

The 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. Allocated funding for the new prison and satellite camp totals $356 million.

BOP officials have discussed building a new prison in Leavenworth for a number of years. 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.

After funding for the construction of the new prison was secured, the NEPA process resumed last year. A draft supplemental environmental impact statement was prepared last year. And this was followed by a 45-day review period which included a Dec. 3 virtual public hearing.

The final supplemental environmental impact statement was released Monday.

The document states, “Implementation of 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.”

A copy of the 252-page document can be found at www.proposed-fci-fpc-leavenworth.com

Copies also are available for public viewing at the Leavenworth Public Library and the Lansing Community Library, according to Hudson.

According to Tom Brantley, executive assistant and camp administrator at USP Leavenworth, prison officials hope a groundbreaking for the new facilities will take place this year.

Members of the public can submit written comments to the Federal Bureau of Prisons during the final supplemental environmental impact statement’s review period, which begins Friday and concludes March 29.

Comments should 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 kshudson@bop.gov

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR