The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced Tuesday that it has issued a waiver to expedite the construction of barriers and roads near the international border near the Santa Teresa, New Mexico port of entry.
The waiver covers a variety of environmental, natural resources and land management laws and an approximately 20-mile segment of the border within the Border Patrol’s El Paso Sector that extends westward from the Santa Teresa port of entry.
In fiscal year 2016, the U.S. Border Patrol apprehended approximately 25,000 illegal aliens and seized approximately 67,000 pounds of marijuana and approximately 157 pounds of cocaine in the El Paso Sector.
DHS plans to replace legacy vehicle barrier that DHS said no longer meets the Border Patrol’s operation needs with new bollard wall.
“While the waiver eliminates DHS’ obligation to comply with various laws with respect to covered projects, DHS remains committed to environmental stewardship,” the department said in a news release. “DHS has been coordinating and consulting, and intends to continue doing so, with other federal and state resource agencies to ensure that impacts to the environment, wildlife, and cultural and historic artifacts are analyzed and minimized, to the extent possible.”