The Bureau’s proposed action is the acquisition of up to 800 acres of property and the construction and operation of a new USP and FPC in Letcher County, Kentucky. The proposed USP and FPC would house approximately 1,216 total inmates: approximately 960 within the USP and approximately 256 within the FPC. Inmates housed in the USP would be high-security male inmates and those housed in the FPC would be minimum-security male inmates. Several ancillary facilities necessary for the operation of the USP and FPC would also be constructed. The ancillary facilities would include a central utility plant, outdoor firing range, outside warehouse, staff training building, garage/landscape building, access roads, and parking lots. A non-lethal/lethal perimeter fence and site lighting would also be installed. Operation of the USP and FPC would require approximately 300 full-time staff.

In March 2016, the Bureau completed the Revised Final EIS for the Proposed United States Penitentiary and Federal Prison Camp, Letcher County, Kentucky (published April 1, 2016). The 2016 RFEIS identified and evaluated the potential environmental impacts of implementing the proposed action at two potential locations: an approximately 753-acre site in eastern Letcher County (Alternative 1 – Payne Gap), and an approximately 700-acre site in western Letcher County (Alternative 2 – Roxana). The 2016 RFEIS identified Alternative 2 – Roxana as the preferred alternative because it best meets the project needs and, on balance, would have fewer impacts to the natural and built environment.

The Bureau was originally considering acquiring approximately 700 acres at the Roxana site for this project. Following publication of the 2016 RFEIS, the Bureau removed two parcels of land at the Roxana site from acquisition consideration, resulting in a proposed site of approximately 570 acres. This reduction in site size necessitated modifying the facilities layout evaluated for Alternative 2 – Roxana in the 2016 RFEIS. The Bureau prepared a Supplemental RFEIS to address changes to the proposed action that were relevant to environmental concerns, as required under the National Environmental Policy Act [40 CFR 1502.9(c)], and to assess new circumstances or information relevant to potential environmental impacts. The focus of the Supplemental RFEIS was the evaluation of potential environmental impacts associated with the revised design of Modified Alternative 2 – Roxana adopted by the Bureau after publication of the 2016 RFEIS.

The Draft Supplemental RFEIS was released on March 24, 2017, and a public information meeting was held April 12, 2017, during the 45-day public comment period. The 2017 Draft Supplemental RFEIS analyzed Modified Alternative 2 – Roxana and the No Action Alternative. Alternative 2 – Roxana from the 2016 RFEIS was eliminated from further evaluation because the original site configuration was no longer feasible. The Final Supplemental RFEIS, which was published on September 29, 2017, addressed relevant comments on the Draft Supplemental RFEIS, and also included the results of the consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service pertaining to effects on Indiana bats, northern long-eared bats, and gray bats under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, and updates on consultation with the Kentucky Heritage Council under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.

The 2017 Draft and Final Supplemental RFEIS analyzed potential direct, indirect, and cumulative environmental impacts that may result from Modified Alternative 2 – Roxana, including land use and zoning; topography, geology, and soils; air quality; noise; infrastructure and utilities; cultural resources; water resources; and biological resources. The Bureau determined there was no significant new information relevant to environmental concerns and no appreciable changes to potential impacts as a result of the modifications to the Roxana site size and facilities layout under Modified Alternative 2 – Roxana to the following resource areas: socioeconomics and environmental justice, community facilities and services, transportation and traffic, and hazardous materials and waste. Relevant and reasonable measures that could avoid or mitigate environmental impacts were analyzed.

The 2017 Final Supplemental RFEIS designated Modified Alternative 2 – Roxana as the Preferred Alternative because it best meets the purpose of the proposed action, and would have, on balance, fewer impacts to the human environment as compared with Alternative 1 – Payne Gap evaluated in the 2016 RFEIS. The Record of Decision was signed on March 30, 2018.

    Read or download the RECORD OF DECISION



    Read or download the 2016 REVISED FINAL EIS

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