[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 140 (Tuesday, July 22, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 42449-42452]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-17190]



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Rules and Regulations
                                                Federal Register
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Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 140 / Tuesday, July 22, 2014 / Rules 
and Regulations

[[Page 42449]]



DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

8 CFR Part 100

Customs and Border Protection

19 CFR Part 101

[Docket No. USCBP-2012-0037; CBP Dec. 14-08]


Closing of the Jamieson Line, New York Border Crossing

AGENCY: U.S. Customs and Border Protection, DHS.

ACTION: Final rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: This final rule amends the Department of Homeland Security 
(DHS) regulations pertaining to the field organization of U.S. Customs 
and Border Protection (CBP) by closing the Jamieson Line, New York 
border crossing. The change is part of CBP's continuing program to 
utilize its personnel, facilities, and resources more efficiently, and 
to provide better service to carriers, importers, and the general 
public.

DATES: This final rule is effective on August 21, 2014.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Roger Kaplan, Office of Field 
Operations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, (202) 325-4543, or by 
email at Roger.Kaplan@cbp.dhs.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Background

    On September 24, 2012, CBP published a Notice of Proposed 
Rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register (77 FR 58782), proposing to 
close the Jamieson Line, New York, border crossing and amend the lists 
of CBP Customs stations at 19 CFR 101.4(c) and the CBP ports of entry 
at 8 CFR 100.4(a) to reflect the change. The primary reason for the 
proposed closure was the Canada Border Services Agency's (CBSA) closure 
of its adjacent port of entry of Jamieson's Line port in Quebec, Canada 
on April 1, 2011. As set forth in the NPRM, other factors were the very 
limited usage of the port; the locations of the alternative ports of 
entry of Trout River, New York and Chateaugay, New York; the lack of 
infrastructure at the border crossing to meet modern operational, 
safety, and technological demands of ports of entry; and the analysis 
of the net benefit of the port closure, including the cost of necessary 
renovations were the port to remain open.

II. Analysis of Comments

    CBP received nine public comments in response to the NPRM. Three 
commenters supported the closure of the Jamieson Line border crossing 
and six commenters opposed it. The following section summarizes the 
comments and CBP responses, grouped into three general categories: 
impact on travelers, impact on surrounding area, and costs.

1. Impact on Travelers

    Comments: Several commenters wrote that the closure would require a 
detour during their frequent trips from Canada to the United States 
resulting in additional travel time, vehicle wear and tear, and added 
fuel costs. One of the commenters stated that, as a senior citizen on a 
very limited pension, the additional travel time to the Chateaugay 
border crossing and the added fuel cost would be a great burden.
    A commenter supporting the proposed closure of the border crossing 
wrote that traveling the six to nine extra miles to the next closest 
border crossing is not a substantial burden given that the Jamieson 
Line border crossing is infrequently used. Another commenter wrote that 
the border crossings at Chateaugay and Trout River are on state 
highways (as opposed to the Jamieson Line border crossing which is on a 
country road) and stated that re-routing the traffic to state highways 
would provide a more direct route for most travelers. One of the 
commenters queried whether the Jamieson Line border crossing has 
historically had significantly higher traffic numbers than in more 
recent years.
    CBP Response: The Jamieson Line border crossing is one of CBP's 
least trafficked border crossings. The border crossing has processed an 
average of less than six privately owned vehicles per day and had the 
eighth lowest traffic volume of all CBP land border crossings for the 
past four fiscal years (2009-2012).\1\ As explained in detail below, 
CBP would incur substantial costs in order to keep the border crossing 
open. Although CBP sincerely regrets the disruptions to personal and 
business routines that some individuals will experience due to the 
closure of the Jamieson Line border crossing, CBP cannot justify the 
substantial costs for so few vehicles.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Prior to 2008, traffic at the Jamieson Line border crossing 
was combined with the traffic of nearby ports so CBP cannot 
ascertain the actual number of crossings at the Jamieson Line border 
crossing for earlier years.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

2. Impact on Surrounding Area

    Comments: One commenter wrote that the closing of the Jamieson Line 
border crossing would lead to job loss and economic hardship within the 
local community of Burke, New York, which will lose contracts at the 
border crossing for services such as cleaning, lawn maintenance, and 
snow removal as well as business from the loss of travelers. (The 
Jamieson Line border crossing is in Burke, New York). The commenter 
also stated that the neighboring ports will be adversely affected by 
the closure since the neighboring ports are already burdened by 
obsolete buildings and minimum staffing and that the closing of the 
Jamieson Line border crossing would increase the wait times at the 
neighboring ports of Chateaugay and Trout River.
    A commenter supporting the proposed border crossing closure noted 
that the citizens in the surrounding areas will be minimally impacted 
by the closure of the Jamieson Line border crossing; according to 
multiple maps of the area, there are no local businesses in the 
vicinity of the Jamieson Line border crossing and the travel time would 
not increase given the re-routing of the traffic to faster, more 
efficient state highways.
    Another commenter asked whether the necessary renovation to the 
border crossing were it to remain open would stimulate the economy of 
the town of Burke, New York, which might attract more Canadians into 
the United States, especially given the favorable exchange rates. This 
commenter also inquired if

[[Page 42450]]

renovating the Jamieson Line border crossing would potentially increase 
trade between the United States and Canada per ``the Perimeter Security 
agreement''. Finally, this commenter asked whether CBP considered 
converting the Jamieson Line border crossing into an unmanned crossing. 
Another commenter questioned whether the greater distance between the 
border crossings made the border less secure.
    CBP response: CBP believes that the impact of the closure of the 
Jamieson Line border crossing on the town of Burke and the surrounding 
area will be minimal. Since fewer than an average of six vehicles a day 
enter the United States at the Jamieson Line crossing, the effect to 
local businesses is likely to be very small and the effect on wait 
times at nearby ports, if any, is likely to be minimal.
    We do not believe that the vehicle traffic at the border crossing 
would increase or that other benefits would accrue from renovating the 
border crossing. CBP notes that such renovation would be performed only 
to allow the border crossing to meet current DHS building safety and 
security standards and that the border crossing would operate in the 
same manner as before, with one primary lane, no secondary lane, and no 
formal commercial vehicle inspection area. As such, CBP would not 
expect an increase in jobs or business activity in the local community. 
CBP does not believe that a renovation would increase the number of 
tourists arriving from Canada, especially given the fact that the 
border crossing on the Canadian side is closed. CBP also notes that the 
Beyond the Border Declaration between the United States and Canada 
(which the commenter refers to as the Perimeter Security agreement) is 
not relevant to the closure of the Jamieson Line border crossing as it 
primarily addresses security concerns, the further development of the 
trusted traveler programs, and the coordination between Canada and the 
United States at large border crossings.
    CBP believes that the closure of the border crossing would not 
impair security at the border. First, CBP notes that the Area Port of 
Trout River and its border crossings (including Jamieson Line) have a 
low-risk, low-threat security and law-enforcement environment. Second, 
CBP will be taking several steps to address security concerns, 
including building a barrier to physically block the road to vehicular 
traffic, electronically monitoring the border crossing at all times, 
and conducting periodic sweeps. The suggestion that CBP should consider 
converting the Jamieson Line border crossing into an unmanned crossing 
is not a viable option because the technology and equipment that would 
allow a border to be unstaffed is prohibitively expensive. In addition, 
the servicing port of any unmanned crossing at the Jamieson Line border 
crossing would still have to redirect manpower to respond to entry 
requests at a substantial cost.

3. Costs

    Comments: Several of the commenters supporting the proposed closure 
of the Jamieson Line border crossing asserted that the closure is the 
fiscally sound option given the low daily volume of travelers, the 
nearby alternative ports of entry available, and the substantial cost 
to renovate the facilities to meet the current safety and security 
requirements. One of the commenters praised CBP for taking steps to 
save money especially given today's budgetary concerns. Another 
commenter wrote that the current condition of the building could pose a 
potential public risk if not updated and that the stated cost of 
implementing these necessary renovations is extremely high in relation 
to the low use of the border crossing.
    Several commenters questioned the economic analysis included in the 
NPRM. One of the commenters wrote that renovating the structure was not 
the only viable option for keeping the Jamieson Line border crossing 
open and that CBP should have considered the alternative of continuing 
to operate the border crossing in its current state. Another commenter 
wrote that the border crossing has functioned for over fifty years and 
that only a modest replacement of the building for a fraction of the 
$6,500,000 cost reflected in the NPRM would be necessary. A commenter 
challenged the estimated costs and economic analysis in the NPRM and 
asserted that numerous costs were incorrect. Among other assertions, 
this commenter stated that the border crossing would only require three 
full-time CBP officers for full coverage and not the five full-time CBP 
officers currently assigned to the Jamieson Line border crossing. 
Finally, one commenter wrote that the annual cost to travelers to close 
the border crossing represents slightly less than 10% of what it would 
cost CBP to keep the facility operating in its current state.
    CBP Response: We disagree with the commenters' assertions that CBP 
does not have to renovate the border crossing to continue operating the 
crossing and CBP maintains that all of our cost calculations are 
accurate. The current facility at the Jamieson Line border crossing 
does not meet CBP building safety and security standards and CBP must 
construct a new facility to meet these standards if the border crossing 
operations are to continue. (The facility was built in 1945 and has not 
undergone renovation since 1962.). As stated in the NPRM, CBP estimates 
the cost to renovate the facility at the Jamieson Line border crossing 
to be $6,500,000. This estimate is based on the actual labor, land, 
environmental and other relevant costs to construct identical 
facilities in New York and Vermont. As further stated in the NPRM, the 
cost of the renovations and the costs to CBP of continuing to operate 
the Jamieson Line border crossing are $7,087,000 (construction, plus 
staffing and operating costs) during the first year and $587,000 
(staffing and operating expenses) each following year. CBP estimates 
that it will cost approximately $205,000 to physically close the border 
crossing which involves building barricades, stabilizing the building 
and fencing. CBP concurs that the additional travel cost to travelers 
is far less than the annual expense to the taxpayer for operating the 
Jamieson Line border crossing.
    With regard to the level of staffing required at the Jamieson Line 
border crossing, CBP requires five full-time CBP officers at the 
crossing. This takes into account a five-day work week, vacation and 
sick leave, and time for mandatory and mission-enhancing training. When 
the NPRM was issued, the CBP Office of Field Operations estimated that 
a CBP officer spends 1,194 hours performing border crossing duties 
while at a border crossing (this estimate has since been revised to 
1,182 hours). The Jamieson Line border crossing is open eight hours a 
day, 365 days a year and is staffed by two CBP officers each day. 
Therefore, this border crossing requires 5,840 hours of CBP officer 
time specifically dedicated to border crossing duties each year. As a 
result, five CBP officers are required to staff the Jamieson Line 
crossing.

III. Conclusion

    After carefully considering the comments, CBP has decided to close 
the Jamieson Line, New York border crossing. We also considered (1) the 
very limited usage of the border crossing; (2) the locations of the 
alternative ports of entry; (3) the lack of infrastructure at the 
border crossing to meet modern operational, safety, and technological 
demands of ports of entry; and (4) the analysis of the net benefit of 
the border crossing closure including the cost of necessary renovations 
were

[[Page 42451]]

the crossing to remain open. The lists of CBP Customs stations at 19 
CFR 101.4(c) and the CBP ports of entry at 8 CFR 100.4(a) are being 
amended to reflect the change.
    CBP is working with the New York State Department of Transportation 
and CBSA to identify the permanent barrier and signage necessary to 
prevent entry and re-route traffic to nearby ports of entry. CBP 
expects that any impact on the environment and any costs incurred to 
mitigate impact on the environment will be minimal. If necessary, CBP 
will conduct minor environmental studies in the course of facility 
demolition and decommissioning.

 IV. Congressional Notification

    On May 31, 2011, the Commissioner of CBP notified Congress of CBP's 
intention to close the border crossing at Jamieson Line, fulfilling the 
congressional notification requirements of 19 U.S.C. 2075(g)(2) and 
section 417 of the Homeland Security Act (6 U.S.C. 217).

V. Regulatory Requirements

A. Signing Authority

    The signing authority for this document falls under 19 CFR 0.2(a). 
Accordingly, this final rule is signed by the Secretary of Homeland 
Security.

B. Executive Orders 13563 and 12866

    Executive Orders 13563 and 12866 direct agencies to assess the 
costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if 
regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize 
net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public 
health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). Executive 
Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and 
benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting 
flexibility. This rule is not a ``significant regulatory action,'' 
under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, the Office of 
Management and Budget has not reviewed this regulation. Nevertheless, 
CBP provided its assessment of the benefits and costs of this 
regulatory action in an NPRM (see 77 FR 58782). CBP adopts the NPRM's 
economic analysis for this final rule without any changes, as 
summarized below.
    DHS has determined that the Jamieson Line crossing requires 
significant renovation and expansion, requiring an estimated $6.5 
million to build facilities that meet all current CBP safety and 
security standards. Since this construction is the only alternative to 
closing the crossing, CBP would need to spend $7,087,000 the first year 
(construction plus staffing and operating costs) and $587,000 in 
staffing and operating expenses each subsequent year if the crossing 
were to remain open.
    The costs of closing the Jamieson Line crossing fall into three 
categories--the cost to CBP to physically close the crossing, the cost 
to travelers to drive to the next nearest crossing, and the cost to the 
economy of lost revenue resulting from potential decreased Canadian 
travel. CBP estimates that it will cost approximately $205,000 to 
physically close the crossing, which involves building road barricades, 
stabilizing the building, and fencing. With the closure of Jamieson 
Line crossing, travelers will incur an estimated $46,670 in time costs 
and $50,000 in vehicle costs annually to travel to an alternative 
crossing. We believe that the total impacts on the economy due to 
decreased travel to the United States are negligible. Thus, total 
quantifiable costs to close the crossing are $301,670 in the first year 
and $96,670 each following year.
    Accounting for the overall costs and benefits of closing the 
Jamieson Line crossing, the net benefit of closing the crossing is 
$6,785,330 the first year and $490,330 each year thereafter, for an 
annualized net benefit of approximately $1.3 million over the next ten 
years using a seven percent discount rate.

C. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This section examines the impact of the rule on small entities as 
required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 603), as amended 
by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement and Fairness Act of 1996. 
A small entity may be a small business (defined as any independently 
owned and operated business not dominant in its field that qualifies as 
a small business per the Small Business Act); a small not-for-profit 
organization; or a small governmental jurisdiction (locality with fewer 
than 50,000 people). Individuals are not defined as small entities 
under the Regulatory Flexibility Act.
    Because CBP does not collect data on the number of small businesses 
that use the border crossing of Jamieson Line, we cannot estimate how 
many will be affected by this rule. However, an average of fewer than 
six vehicles cross into the United States at the Jamieson Line border 
crossing each day and DHS does not believe that this impact rises to 
the level of a significant economic impact. In addition, such impacts 
to small businesses are an indirect effect of this rule, but are 
discussed previously in this preamble. DHS thus certifies that this 
rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial 
number of small entities.

D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    This rule will not result in the expenditure by State, local, and 
tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 
million or more in any one year, and it will not significantly or 
uniquely affect small governments. Therefore, no actions are necessary 
under the provisions of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995.

E. Executive Order 13132

    The rule will not have substantial direct effects on the States, on 
the relationship between the National Government and the States, or on 
the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels 
of government. Therefore, in accordance with section 6 of Executive 
Order 13132, this rule does not have sufficient federalism implications 
to warrant the preparation of a federalism summary impact statement.

List of Subjects

8 CFR Part 100

    Organization and functions (Government agencies).

19 CFR Part 101

    Customs duties and inspection, Customs ports of entry, Exports, 
Imports, Organization and functions (Government agencies).

Amendments to DHS Regulations

    For the reasons set forth above, DHS amends part 100 of title 8 of 
the Code of Federal Regulations and part 101 of title 19 of the Code of 
Federal Regulations as set forth below.

Title 8--Aliens and Nationality

CHAPTER I--DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

PART 100--STATEMENT OF ORGANIZATION

0
1. The authority citation for part 100 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  8 U.S.C. 1103; 8 U.S.C. 1185 note (section 7209 of 
Pub. L. 108-458; 8 CFR part 2.

Sec.  100.4  [Amended]

0
2. The list of ports in Sec.  100.4(a) is amended by removing 
``Jamison's Line, NY'' from the list of Class B ports of entry under 
District No. 7--Buffalo, New York.

[[Page 42452]]

Title 19--Customs Duties

CHAPTER I--U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND 
SECURITY

PART 101--GENERAL PROVISIONS

0
3. The general authority citation for part 101 and the specific 
authority citation for Sec.  101.4 continue to read as follows:

    Authority:  5 U.S.C. 301; 19 U.S.C. 2, 66, 1202 (General Note 
3(i), Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States), 1623, 1624, 
1646a.
    Sections 101.3 and 101.4 also issued under 19 U.S.C. 1 and 58b.
* * * * *


Sec.  101.4  [Amended]

0
4. The list of ports in Sec.  101.4(c) is amended by removing, under 
the state of New York, the entry ``Jamieson's Line'' from the ``Customs 
station'' column and removing the corresponding entry ``Trout River'' 
from the ``Supervisory port of entry'' column.

    Dated: July 17, 2014.
Jeh Charles Johnson,
Secretary of Homeland Security.
[FR Doc. 2014-17190 Filed 7-21-14; 8:45 am]
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