House Set to Waive Environmental Laws for Security Agency Along Border

Publication: The Hill

Author: Ben Geman


06/13/2012 - The House is slated to vote next week on controversial legislation that would exempt the Department of Homeland Security from more than 30 environmental and land-management laws within 100 miles of the border with Mexico and Canada.

The laws covered include the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act, the National Historic Preservation Act and many others.

The provision is part of Rep. Rob Bishop’s (R-Utah) wider border security bill.

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But environmentalists have been battling the plan. Jane Danowitz of the Pew Environment Group said last year that waiving “bedrock” environmental and land-management laws has little to do with enhancing security.

“Instead, the proposed legislation would give unprecedented authority to a single federal agency to destroy wildlife habitat and wetlands, impair downstream water quality and restrict activities such as hunting, fishing and grazing,” said Danowitz, the group’s director of U.S. public lands, last year as the Natural Resources Committee was considering the measure.

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Read the full article, House Set to Waive Environmental Laws for Security Agency Along Border, on The Hill's website.

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