From: Colin Dwyer
Published August 1, 2017 04:50 PM

Homeland Security To Waive Environmental Rules On Border Wall Projects

The waiver, which focuses on 15 miles of contiguous land stretching eastward from the Pacific Ocean, would make it easier for the agency to embark on those "infrastructure projects," which include building several prototypes of the border wall President Trump called for in a January executive action. The agency also plans to replace sections of the fence that stands in the area.

By using the waiver, it would be able to avoid the legal requirement to complete an environmental impact study before building on public lands. In fact, the agency says it has "the authority to waive all legal requirements" the Homeland Security secretary deems necessary "to deter illegal crossings in areas of high illegal entry into the United States."

And Homeland Security spokesman David Lapan tells NPR's Eric Westervelt this portion of the border could certainly be described as one of those areas.

"Last fiscal year 2016, Customs and Border Patrol apprehended more than 31,000 illegal aliens and seized about 1,300 pounds of cocaine just in the San Diego sector alone," Lapan explains.

Read more at NPR.

Image:  Sandy Huffaker/AFP/Getty Images

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