05.22.09

Canaan To Be New Home Of Border Patrol Station

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and U.S. Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) announced Friday that the Department of Homeland Security has chosen Canaan, Vermont, as the new home to a U.S. Border Patrol Station that will eventually accommodate 50 agents. The decision marks an end to a nearly two-year selection process that had narrowed the new site to either Canaan, Vermont, or Colebrook, New Hampshire.  The new station would allow the Border Patrol to increase hiring in the Northeast Kingdom once construction is complete.   

“This is great news for Canaan and the Northeast Kingdom,” said Leahy.  “The Border Patrol has a lot of ground to cover in both the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont and New Hampshire's North Country.  Ultimately, this decision came down to what made more operational sense for the mission of the Border Patrol -- protecting our borders.  Just as importantly to me, this means more jobs in Canaan, a continued strong law enforcement presence in Essex County and the continuation of a long tradition of our communities supporting the men and women of the Border Patrol."

“This announcement is great news for the Town of Canaan and all of Vermont,” Sanders said. “The new Border Patrol station is crucial to providing Vermont and the nation with safe and secure borders and communities.”

“I’m pleased that the people of Canaan were successful in their hard-fought effort to site this border patrol station in their town,” Welch said. “This facility will bring jobs to the Northeast Kingdom and improve security along our northern border. The town of Canaan, the Kingdom and all of Vermont will benefit from it.”

In late 2007, the Border Patrol began looking for a site capable of handling a larger facility, as they planned to outgrow the existing station in Beecher Falls.  Vermont's Congressional Delegation, with the help of members of the Canaan Select Board, area residents and the area's representatives to Vermont's Legislature, communicated directly with then-U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Ralph Basham about the importance of keeping this vital law enforcement asset in Vermont.  Following last year's preliminary determination that the new station should be located in Colebrook, the Vermont Delegation quickly asked for clarification of what they believed to be inaccurate facts in the accompanying report.  This spring, a revised Environmental Assessment report was issued selecting Canaan as the preferred site.  Leahy, Sanders and Welch supported the selection of the Canaan site in three separate letters and multiple meetings with DHS officials. 

# # # # #

Press Contact

David Carle: 202-224-3693