Environmental Laws Waived for Border Wall

In Environment, IMMIGRATION -- articles only On

WASHINGTON — The Department of Homeland Security said on Tuesday that it would use its authority to exempt the agency from having to comply with environmental and other laws in its efforts to build border walls and access roads in the San Diego area.

The waiver would apply to the construction of several wall prototypes the agency plans to build in the region in response to an executive order signed by President Trump in January.

Congress has passed several laws that give Homeland Security the authority to exempt its construction of physical barriers like border walls from a variety of environmental and land management laws. The department invoked that authority five times from 2005 to 2008, the agency said. Most of the construction of the border walls currently in use was done during that period.

David Lapan, a spokesman for the department, said the waiver would also apply to replacement fencing and roads the agency plans to build in the San Diego area. The waiver will be published in the Federal Register in the coming days, the agency said.

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