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Southbound Border Inspection Bad for the Environment?

A coalition of border-area businesses and community groups says it cannot back the San Ysidro Port of Entry remodel plan until the US government addresses issues like the impact of screening cars headed into Mexico. As KPBS reporter Amy Isackson explains its the last day (monday) to comment on the government's environmental impact report on the remodel.

Construction on the San Ysidro Border Crossing could begin this fall.

The US government's preferred plan includes six southbound lanes into Mexico with inspection booths at each one.

Jason Wells directs the San Ysidro Smart Border Coalition.

He's concerned the southbound booths were added at the last minute and their impact could be monumental.

"You've got 40-thousand cars going from Tijuana to San Diego in 24 lanes. Inspecting every car, it takes us 1.5 to 3 hours to get across. Any kind of inspection southbound for roughly the same number of cars in six lanes, then you obviously start creating something like four times the wait time."

US federal officials say its impossible to study the southbound booth's impact because there's no plan for how southbound inspections will work.