The Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security has issued a waiver allowing the agency to ignore key health and environmental safeguards in their misguided efforts to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border near San Diego.
In response, Dan Millis of the Sierra Club’s Grand Canyon Chapter Borderlands Program issued the following statement.
“Brushing aside key public health safeguards to impose a boondoggle of a border wall is absurd. A decade of waiving environmental, historic and cultural protections for sections of the wall already built has shown that doing so only causes harm to local communities, wildlife and wild places.
“Building more walls along the U.S.- Mexico border is a terrible and unpopular idea. It will cause flooding, block wildlife, and waste taxpayer dollars — and it will only hinder progress on border and immigration issues. Congress must step in to prevent unnecessary harm to the borderlands and its people by opposing any financing for Trump’s lawless border wall and mass deportation agenda.”
Already more than 650 miles of border wall stand in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. The REAL ID Act gave the Department of Homeland Security powers to waive any law, and the Bush Administration waived 37 federal laws, including the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act and Endangered Species Act. The most recent waiver adds to the list of eight important safeguards that have already been waived in the San Diego area: National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act, National Historic Preservation Act, Federal Water Pollution Control Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Clean Air Act, Coastal Zone Management Act, Administrative Procedure Act. A map of waiver locations and laws waived is available here.
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