NEW YORK TIMES
Environmental Laws Waived to Press Work on Border Fence
By JULIA PRESTON
Published: October 23, 2007
Michael Chertoff, the homeland security secretary, waived several
environmental laws yesterday to continue building a border fence
through a national conservation area in Arizona, bypassing a federal
court ruling that had suspended the fence construction.
Citing "unacceptable risks to our nation's security" if the fence
along the border with Mexico was further delayed, Mr. Chertoff
invoked waiver authority granted him under a 2005 bill that mandated
construction of the fence.
He ordered work to continue on 6.9 miles of fence along the border
through the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area in Cochise
County in southeastern Arizona.
In a ruling on Oct. 10, Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle of the federal
court for the District of Columbia held up construction of the fence,
finding that the government had failed to carry out the required
environmental assessment. The decision came in a suit brought by the
Sierra Club and Defenders of Wildlife.
In a statement yesterday, the Department of Homeland Security said
it "disagrees with the court's ruling" and was confident of
eventually winning the case. It noted that two federal land
management agencies had authorized the department to proceed with the
In addition, department officials said that some 19,000 illegal
immigrants were detained passing through the conservation area in the
2007 fiscal year and that the immigrants' trash, human waste and
illegal roads had caused more damage to plant and animal life than
the fence would.
Courtesy of: Jay / No Border Wall