The Department of Homeland Security has received approval from Congress to ignore dozens of environmental laws in order to construct a 670-mile border fence. Environmentalists are worried about the impact the project could have on endangered species, and several property owners have attempted to obstruct the construction process.


Los Angeles Times:

“DHS is neither compromising its commitment to responsible environmental stewardship nor its commitment to solicit and respond to the needs of state, local and tribal governments,” [Homeland Security Secretary Michael] Chertoff said in a prepared statement.

Critics, however, said the waivers were intended to sidestep growing and unexpectedly fierce opposition — especially in Arizona and in Texas, where concerns have been raised about endangered species and fragile ecosystems along the Rio Grande.

“The Bush administration’s latest waiver of environmental and other federal laws threatens the livelihoods and ecology of the entire U.S.-Mexico border region,” said Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope. “Secretary Chertoff chose to bypass stakeholders and push through this unpopular project on April Fool’s Day. We don’t think the destruction of the borderlands region is a laughing matter.”

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