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bu$hit's DHS Waives Environmental Laws to Build US/Mexico Border Fence [View All]

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Triana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-06-08 12:19 PM
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bu$hit's DHS Waives Environmental Laws to Build US/Mexico Border Fence
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Environmental Laws Waived to Build Border Fence

WASHINGTON, DC, April 4, 2008 (ENS) - The Department of Homeland Security, DHS, says it is issuing two waivers of environmental laws to expedite security improvements at the border of the United States and Mexico.

Congress gave the Secretary of Homeland Security authority to waive all legal requirements necessary to expeditiously install additional physical barriers and roads at the border to deter illegal activity.

"Criminal activity at the border does not stop for endless debate or protracted litigation," said Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. "Congress and the American public have been adamant that they want and expect border security. We're serious about delivering it, and these waivers will enable important security projects to keep moving forward. At the same time, we value the need for public input on any potential impact of our border infrastructure plans on the environment - and we will continue to solicit it."

One waiver applies to certain environmental and land management laws for various project areas in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, encompassing roughly 470 total miles.

It will facilitate additional pedestrian and vehicle fence construction, towers, sensors, cameras, detection equipment, and roads along the U.S.-Mexico border.

A separate waiver was signed for environmental and land management laws for the levee-border barrier project in Hidalgo County, Texas. Chertoff said this 22 mile project will "strengthen flood protection in the area while providing the Border Patrol with important tactical infrastructure." Completion on this project is expected by the end of 2008.
Army Specialist Michael J. Westall, 188th Engineer Company, applies a weld on the U.S. side of the fence at the U.S.-Mexico border June 7, 2007. (Photo by Senior Master Sgt. David H. Lipp courtesy U.S. Air Force)

Environmental groups are critical of the waivers, saying the projects will destroy federally protected wild lands. The region covered by the first waiver contains national parks, national monuments, national wildlife refuges, national forests, and wilderness areas.

http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/apr2008/2008-04-04-092....
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