H.R. 1505 Puts Public Lands at Risk

Source Organization: Pew Environment Group

06/05/2012 - Contacts:
Elyssa Rosen, erosen@pewtrusts.org, 775.224.7497
Susan Whitmore, swhitmore@pewtrusts.org, 202.540.6430

Legislation moving through the U.S. House of Representatives would give operational control of all of America’s public lands to one agency: U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). H.R. 1505, the National Security and Federal Land Protection Act, would suspend outright 36 environmental and public health laws, including the Clean Water and Clean Air Acts, within 100 miles of U.S. borders with Mexico and Canada.

What’s more, the CBP would have immediate access to develop roads and infrastructure on the more than 600 million acres of national parks, monuments, Indian reservations, wilderness, wildlife refuges, and other lands managed by U.S. Departments of Interior (DOI) and Agriculture (USDA), anywhere in the country. From Redwood National Park to the Statue of Liberty, this measure would threaten America’s most treasured lands and waters.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security does not support this legislation, and a recent General Accounting Office report concluded that current federal laws do not impede border protection. The bill, reported out of the House Natural Resources Committee in April, is poised for debate on the House floor.

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