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US waives ALL environmental and HP laws at the border

  • 1.  US waives ALL environmental and HP laws at the border

    Posted 04-15-2020 10:49
    Folks this is BIG: Chad Wolf, the Acting Secretary of Homeland Security, has decreed that ALL environmental and historic preservation regulations be "waived in their entirety, with respect to the construction of physical barriers and roads," at the US border, to prevent "unlawful entries into the United States." See here, in the Federal Register, for details. 

    -Jeremy



  • 2.  RE: US waives ALL environmental and HP laws at the border

    Posted 04-16-2020 11:16
    Is that even legal? We're not under martial law... yet. What authority does the Secretary of Homeland Security have to override federal or state regulations?

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    David Wells
    Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation
    Scottsdale AZ
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  • 3.  RE: US waives ALL environmental and HP laws at the border

    Posted 04-16-2020 11:23
    So this pertains to any land, archaeological site, or building? Sounds like
    Marshall Law.

    Alexandra Rollins
    Management and Fundraising for the Preservation, Arts and Nonprofit
    Communities
    24 Goodrich Road, Jamaica Plain, Boston, MA 02130
    Land 617.524.6007; Cell 617.733.5827. www.rollinsupton.com




  • 4.  RE: US waives ALL environmental and HP laws at the border

    Posted 04-16-2020 12:51
    See here for the law Congress passed in 1996, especially Section 102, which states that the Attorney General can waive the Endangered Species Act and NEPA, but it doesn't mention all the other laws that are being waived by the Acting Secretary of Homeland Security. Looks like a typical Trump administration over-reach, waiting for someone to call its bluff. This law has been used in the past to waive environmental laws under past administrations, but not on this wide of a scale, as far as I am aware. Anyone else know more?


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    Jeremy Wells, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
    pronouns: he/his/him
    Historic Preservation Program, School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, University of Maryland, College Park
    http://www.heritagestudies.org
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: US waives ALL environmental and HP laws at the border

    Posted 04-17-2020 09:13
    Concerning, yes, but as I read it this is not a blanket waiver of all regulations along the US/Mexico border. It is specifically written to address the Rio Grande Valley Sector. Is this just the start of more extensive waivers? Let's hope not, and thanks Jeremy for bringing this to everyone's attention. Based on the following boundary description for the affected area, can anyone map it? I have no idea how large this area is, not being familiar with the region.

    Text from the Federal Register:

    I determine that the following areas in the vicinity of the United States border, located in the State of Texas within the Border Patrol's Rio Grande Valley Sector, are areas of high illegal entry (the "project areas"):

    • Starting at the western boundary of the census designated place of Salineno, Texas and generally following the Rio Grande River south and east to the southeast boundary of the census designated place of Salineno, Texas.
    • Starting at the western boundary of the Los Negros Creek Tract of the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge and generally following the Rio Grande River east to the eastern boundary of the city limits of Escobares, Texas.
    • Starting at the western boundary of the city limits of Rio Grande City, Texas, and extending east to approximately two hundred and fifteen (215) feet southeast of the location where the international bridge at the Rio Grande City port of entry begins to cross the Rio Grande River.
    • Starting approximately one-quarter (0.25) of a mile northwest of the intersection of Mission Street and West Private Lazaro Solis Street, then extending south for approximately one and one-half (1.5) miles, then extending north and east to approximately one and one-half (1.5) miles southeast of the intersection of East Private Lazaro Solis Street and El Sol Drive.


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    Devin Colman
    State Architectural Historian
    Vermont Division for Historic Preservation
    Montpelier VT
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  • 6.  RE: US waives ALL environmental and HP laws at the border

    Posted 04-18-2020 12:12
    I'm from the RGV where this directly impacts wildlife, community, and historical sites. In fact because we have so few water sources down here, most of the historical sites were built on the banks of the Rio Grande River for access to water, food & transportation. Many property owners have had these properties in their family since they were old Spanish land grants so this can be a very sensitive topic. All of the federal, state & county parks in that area are also on the river since it draws the best wildlife and is some of the only native habitat left accessible to citizens wanting public access. Historically people used the river for sight-seeing, family gatherings, and entertainment. This is a very peaceful, tight knit community. Bu in my lifetime I've seen that businesses are struggling that once thrived on the river. These days people are often intimidated to visit this area due to all of border patrol, DPS, sheriffs, helicopters, city police, watch towers, drones etc. I must say these men & women are mostly very nice people and we appreciate their work but many tourists & residents have been pulled over and questioned while visiting these public parks, businesses and our beloved chapel. Government has all of the most technologically advanced equipment at their disposal to virtually or manually control the area. The problem is nobody knows if big government, by taking land away, will respect any of our local history, culture & wildlife with  huge walls & non-stop vehicles going through the most historically interesting & biologically diverse area in the Rio Grande Valley. What happens to property owner's access to their land? There is a lot of speculation and few facts and therefore it is very "touchy" for many based on fear. Hopefully, people in charge at a federal level who are taking this land use for imminent domain will appreciate & respect the really rich culture and history of the area and will do there best to keep a close eye on how things impact local culture. Your guess is as good as anyone's. Here are a few public places that are charming and historically relevant to the area: Bensten State Park, North American Butterfly Association Preserve, Anzualdua Park, La Lomita Chapel,  Abram Montezuma Cypress, Los Ébanos Ferry, Santa Ana Wildlife Preserve is further down the river and Roma Bluffs  are up the River. There are also several privately owned parcels of land with historically relevant sites.

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    Ariel King
    The Bryan House
    William Jennings Bryan House
    Mission TX
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  • 7.  RE: US waives ALL environmental and HP laws at the border

    This message was posted by a user wishing to remain anonymous
    Posted 12-18-2020 08:01
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  • 8.  RE: US waives ALL environmental and HP laws at the border

    This message was posted by a user wishing to remain anonymous
    Posted 12-21-2020 14:21
    This post was removed