Trump waives dozens of environmental rules to speed up construction of border wall

Trump waives dozens of environmental rules to speed up construction of border wall
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The Trump administration is waiving dozens of environmental regulations to speed up construction of President TrumpDonald John TrumpWarren defends, Buttigieg attacks in debate that shrank the field Five takeaways from the Democratic debate in Ohio Democrats debate in Ohio: Who came out on top? MORE’s proposed wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenTrump says acting Homeland Security chief McAleenan will step down Activists to demonstrate at ICE headquarters after Cameroonian immigrant dies in custody Ex-Citizenship and Immigration Services chief returns to DHS in different role MORE said in a notice published in the Federal Register Monday that she was waiving the rules to accelerate construction on part of the wall in New Mexico.

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The waiver excludes rules from major laws including the National Environment Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act, the National Historic Preservation Act and the Antiquities Act, among others.

The notice claims that the “El Paso Sector is an area of high illegal entry,” citing its proximity to the city of Ciudad of Juarez, and will allow for vehicle barriers to be replaced with bollard wall for 20 miles on the border.

“The Secretary of Homeland Security has determined, pursuant to law, that it is necessary to waive certain laws, regulations and other legal requirements in order to ensure the expeditious construction of barriers and roads in the vicinity of the international land border of the United States near the Santa Teresa Land Port of Entry in the state of New Mexico,” the waiver reads.

At least one environmental group is considering suing the Trump administration over the action, according to the Washington Examiner.

The Center for Biological Diversity, which sued the administration over the wall last year, said that it was considering taking further legal action over the new waiver.

“The Trump administration is stopping at nothing to ram through this destructive border wall,” Brian Segee, a senior attorney for the group, told the Examiner.

“Trump’s divisive border wall is a humanitarian and environmental disaster, and it won’t do anything to stop illegal drug or human smuggling,” he continued.