Biden Promises Environmental Damage Review of Trump's Border Wall
Monday, June 14, 2021
EL PASO, Texas -- The Biden administration has promised to conduct a damage assessment after announcing that billions diverted for construction of former President Donald Trump's border wall would be returned to the Department of Defense.
The administration also wants Congress to approve funds to address "urgent life, safety, and environmental issues" created by the construction.
Bryan Bird, southwest program director for Defenders of Wildlife, said in some areas of Arizona, explosives were used to destroy entire mountains on public lands. In addition to looking at that destruction, he argued the administration should assess damage to Native American spiritual and burial sites.
"I would ask him to look at places where streams and rivers and springs occur along the border, and to immediately consider removing any border wall in those places," Bird urged.
As money was pulled back last week, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott vowed his state would build a border wall with Mexico to deter immigrants, but provided few specifics about construction or funding. Trump declared a national emergency in 2019 to divert $3.6 billion from military construction projects to build the border wall.
Bird also hopes the administration will review migration corridors that were affected, preventing North American wildlife from using traditional border routes to seek out food, mates and new habitat.
"This is probably the first time in history that migration of wildlife has been stopped on a continental scale," Bird contended. "So this border wall that Trump was building affected that historic, monumental migration pattern."
In addition to Arizona, where roads were built through wilderness areas and waterways sealed off to endangered fish species, Bird pointed out California and parts of New Mexico also sustained damage from border-wall construction.
If part of the money is returned to the Defense Department, it is scheduled to go toward 66 projects in 11 states, 3 territories and 16 countries. It could also be used for enhanced technology along the border.
Disclosure: Defenders of Wildlife contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Endangered Species and Wildlife, Energy Policy, Environment, and Public Lands/Wilderness. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
get more stories like this via email
LANSING, Mich. - High utility costs are a major burden for Michigan's low-income residents, and a new study says they have an impact on their health…
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A new report shows an effort by investor-owned utilities in the Sunshine State to block the growth of rooftop solar. The …
Health and Wellness
By Troy Pierson / Broadcast version by Mary Schuermann reporting for the Kent State-Ohio News Connection Collaboration. As marijuana becomes more …
SALT LAKE CITY - With rising numbers of people targeted in hate crimes and related violence, a new report analyzes the hate-crime laws in each state…
BOSTON - Educators' unions are calling on the state to support their efforts to ensure in-person learning in the fall keeps students, teachers…
HARTFORD, Conn. - In Connecticut, more than 460,000 people care for close friends or family members who can't manage on their own - and their …
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Millions of Americans soon could find eviction notices on their front doors, but New Mexico renters will not be among them - as …
Health and Wellness
CONCORD, N.H. - New Hampshire advocates for affordable healthcare access want Congress to lower prescription costs by allowing Medicare to negotiate …