U.S. Border Agency OKs ‘High Energy X-ray’ Use

The non-intrusive inspection technology can penetrate dense cargo loads that cannot otherwise be examined.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) says, the use of “high energy X-ray inspection systems” (HEXRIS) at land and sea ports of entry “will not significantly affect the human environment,” so further analysis in the use of that technology is not required.

In a Federal Register notice dated Oct. 6, 2010, CBP says because of the determination on HEXRIS use at land and sea ports of entry, the agency has prepared a “Finding of No Significant Impact” (FONSI) and a “Programmatic Environmental Assessment” (PEA) on HEXRIS. In addition, the determination means an “Environmental Impact Statement” (EIS) on HEXRIS is not required, and will not be pursued. The FONSI and PEA are available for public review through Nov. 5, 2010, CBP adds.

HEXRIS inspection is a non-intrusive inspection technology that can penetrate dense cargo loads that cannot otherwise be examined with other technologies such as gamma imaging systems or low-energy X-ray systems, says CBP, which is tasked with securing the U.S. borders while simultaneously facilitating legitimate trade and travel. Therefore, CBP proposes deploying HEXRIS at land and sea ports of entry across the United States and Puerto Rico to scan high-density cargo containers for contraband such as illicit drugs, currency, guns and weapons of mass destruction.

Copies of the final PEA and FONSI may be accessed online, or by contacting Guy Feyen of CBP by telephone, (202) 344-1531; by fax, (202) 344-1418; by e-mail, guy.feyen@dhs.gov; or by writing to CBP, Attn: Guy Feyen, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Suite 1575, Washington, D.C. 20229.

For further information, contact Antoinette DiVittorio, Environmental and Energy Division, U.S. Customs and Border Protection at (202) 344-3131.