San Diego Getting Border Wall Upgrades Over Environmental Objections

by stephanieargyros on August 30, 2017

in Latest News

San Diego border

The Trump administration recently announced that it will waive environmental reviews and other laws to make part of the planned new border wall near San Diego a reality.

The Department of Homeland Security state that it would publish a notice in the Federal Register exempting the government from the National Environmental Protection Act and several other laws that regulate the 15-mile border. The NEPA requires the government carry out extensive environmental impact studies before undertaking major construction projects.

A law passed in 2005 granted the Homeland Security Department the authority to waive legal requirements to build border barriers. The law led to the creation of hundreds of new miles of border fencing during the administration of George W. Bush, but this will mark the first time that the Homeland Security Department has exercised its power since 2008.

The House of Representatives recently approved the Trump administration’s request for $1.6 billion to begin building the border wall.

Critics of the move include the Center for Biological Diversity, which criticized it as a threat to the environment. The CBD plans to challenge the waiver by arguing that the 2005 law only applies to building new barriers, not replacing existing ones. The group is currently suing the administration in a bid to stop the replacement the San Diego border wall, which Trump has described as unsightly and ineffective.

The San Diego sector of the Border Patrol made nearly 32,000 last year, or nearly 10% of the total on the US-Mexico border, and seized more than 4 tons of marijuana and a half-ton of cocaine.

The Border Patrol said the sector needs immediate infrastructure improvement to stop illegal entry and drug smuggling.

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Post by Stephanie Argyros

Stephanie has written 252 articles.

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