ACRA Receives Response to Coalition Border Fencing Letter

02/27/2019 4:00 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

At the end of last summer, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) announced their decision to waive the National Historic Preservation Act and other federal laws in order to expedite construction of border fencing in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. As a part of the Coalition for American Heritage, ACRA sent a letter to CBP opposing this decision and urging officials to reconsider.

This effort to protect sensitive cultural resources that would be potentially endangered by the waiving of such laws is one of several made by ACRA in the latter half of 2018. A few weeks ago, we received a response, which we now want to share with all of you!

The ACRA lobbying team received the following email in response to the Coalition letter. Notably, CBP commits to conducting environmental surveys to identify sensitive areas that have the potential to be impacted - including "biological and cultural resources on land within the border wall alignment." Read the full text of the email below, and stay tuned to the ACRAsphere for updates on this issue (and many more!).

American Cultural Resources Association,

Your feedback is appreciated, and we understand your concerns regarding the waiver of environmental laws in the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) sector and the potential impacts to historical and cultural resources. Your feedback, along with information about how it was incorporated into U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)’s environmental planning, will be detailed in a report that will be made public once all stakeholder comments have been reviewed and analyzed.

Regarding your comments related to the waiver of environmental laws, CBP is conducting environmental surveys of the project areas, coordinating and consulting with resource agencies and other stakeholders, evaluating possible environmental impacts from the projects, and identifying mitigation measures to avoid or minimize impacts. While the waiver eliminates CBP’s obligation to comply with certain environmental laws for this project, CBP remains committed to environmental stewardship. In doing so, CBP creates an Environmental Stewardship Plan which identifies areas of potential impacts and establishes construction best management practices that avoid or minimize impacts to the environment during construction. Additionally, CBP intends to continue outreach and consultation with stakeholders in an effort to capture and address their concerns.

Regarding your comments related to surveys, CBP is working with experts in the field to conduct surveys that will identify sensitive environmental areas that have the potential to be impacted during construction. The scope of these surveys will include biological and cultural resources on land within the border wall alignment.

For additional information, please use the following link to frequently asked questions (FAQs):

Thank you again for your feedback.


Wall Program Manager Office Directorate Team

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