Border-wall agreement orders environmental steps


The settlement of border-wall litigation includes provisions to mitigate environmental damage done by barrier construction. (Photo courtesy of GAO)

The settlement recently of four lawsuits filed in 2019 and 2020 to challenge former U.S. President Donald Trump’s expansion of the U.S.-Mexico border wall requires environmental remediation work in certain areas degraded by the projects. Meanwhile, a new federal report chronicles environmental damage that has been caused by border-wall projects, citing problems ranging from altered water flows to wildlife-habitat fragmentation. The four lawsuits, brought by conservationists and state governments, had argued the Trump administration was pushing environmentally destructive border-barrier construction in violation of the Constitution and laws including the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The settlement, announced July 17, requires the Biden administration to undertake environmental remediation along sections of the wall that the Trump administration had built or replaced using repurposed defense and treasury funds without Congressional consent. The Sierra Club was the lead plaintiff in two of the suits, while the other cases were... [Log in to read more]

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