Environmental laws waived for fence along border
The Department of Homeland Security waived more than 30 environmental laws, including the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, to finish construction of a fence along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Congress exempted construction of the fence from the laws. The waivers cover about 470 miles, according to a statement from Secretary Michael Chertoff.

Chertoff said DHS consulted tribes to address issues related to the fence. The National Congress of American Indians and tribes along the border in California and Arizona raised concerns about the waivers.

"It is our goal to implement measures to minimize the effects of construction on cultural, biological and natural resources wherever possible. For example, DHS has funded several excavation sites along the construction route in order to allow archaeologists to gather information about pre-historic and Native American culture," Chertoff said.

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Environmental Laws to Be Waived for Fence (The Washington Post 4/2)
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Related Stories:
Border fence exempted from NAGPRA, other laws (11/21)
Rider waives NAGPRA, sacred site protections (10/26)

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