U.S. Customs and Border Protection has finalized shorter hours for several border crossings in northeastern Washington state, effective this fall. The reduction in operating hours in one case was modified based on protests from the local community.
Beginning October 1, drivers entering the U.S. from British Columbia will need to get to the border before 8 p.m. if they plan to use the rural crossings near Danville or Metaline Falls. Those northeastern Washington border posts currently stay open until midnight.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection said the reduced hours are based on declining traffic and the agency's desire to redirect resources to border crossings with higher workloads.
Earlier this month, residents and business owners in Ferry County, Washington, complained, resulting in hours being added back for the crossing between Grand Forks, BC, and Danville. It was going to be open daytime-only from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.. Now that will be 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
“During a recent town hall, local community and business owners expressed concern about the reduction of hours. CBP listened to those concerns in determining the final hours of operation,” said Blaine, Washington-based CBP Area Port Director Ken Williams in a statement emailed on Wednesday.
The CBP statement predicted the reduction in hours at Danville would have a "minimal" impact because less than one car per hour typically drives across that border crossing during the hours it soon will be closed.
There are alternative border crossings that are open 24 hours per day, but they are a considerable drive away. The Laurier crossing on U.S. Highway 395 stays open until midnight and the Frontier crossing south of Trail, BC, operates 24 hours per day.
UPDATE, July 27: In a follow-up email Friday, CBP said it wants to continue to work with the local communities to reduce any negative impact, where possible. CBP wrote that local questions or comments can be sent to MetalineFalls@cbp.dhs.gov or Danville@cbp.dhs.gov.