U.S. Senators Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) today announced that the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has agreed to their requests to replace the existing Port of Entry in Van Buren that was damaged during severe flooding in early May 2008. CBP responded to a July letter from the Senators stating that it will work with the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) to develop a plan to build a new permanent facility that will meet the economic needs of the region as well as the security needs of CBP.
“We are very pleased that the Department of Homeland Security has approved this request to build a new port of entry in Van Buren, replacing the one damaged during the flooding in May,” Senators Snowe and Collins said. “As Maine shares more than 600 miles of border with Canada, it is absolutely vital that we maintain effective and operational border crossings that prevent terrorists and criminals from entering our country while not disrupting the lives of Mainers, many of whom frequently travel back and forth between the United States and Canada.”
While the new border crossing is being developed, the GSA will provide temporary facilities that allow the port to remain fully operational and ensure that CBP officers have a safe and secure environment in which to work.