Controversy in U.S. over Environmental Waiver to Build Wall


10 de febrero de 2019, 02:43Washington, Feb 10 (Prensa Latina) The controversy grows after it was known that the U.S. government will issue a series of exemptions from environmental standards to speed up the construction and replacement of a section of fence on the border with Mexico.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued the waivers to ‘ensure the rapid construction and replacement’ of a 20 kilometer stretch of secondary wall based on metal posts raised next to each other.

DHS said in a statement that it is authorized by Congress to decide these environmental and other safeguards to fulfill its border security mission.

However, The New York Times noted that these measures evade scientific recommendations about the dangers to local biodiversity due to the devastating effects on many species of animals and plants.

According to Tim Keitt, University of Texas Biology professor, the research reveals that the construction would negatively affect the region’s unique biodiversity, both because of the high pollution caused by the removal of this physical barrier, and because of the abrupt interruption of migratory routes of several species.

For specialists, this situation, which is currently generated as an impact of climate change, is ironically denied by President Donald Trump.

The buffer zone along the border has different types of land, from desert areas to the Rio Bravo environment.

According to Vanessa Martin, Director of the Natural Conservation Association, this latter area includes an exceptional diversity located only in this territory, and some of the species are in extinction, such as the plumbed falcon, the ocelot and the yaguarundi (relative of the puma).

In the territory known as the ‘Far West of Texas’, an extensive border line is shared with the Mexican states of Chihuahua and Cahuila.

In this sector, species such as the black bear, the wildcat, the mountain lion and the mule deer could drown. As an example, the Mexican city of Nogales suffered heavy rains leading to flooding in 2011, due to a semi-blocked drain in the partially constructed border fence, which generated a large accumulation of water that then released.

This could happen in other basins divided by the border because its potential disruption would have a great impact on the natural soil, roads and buildings, which would require incurring large economic expenditures to solve it.

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