McALLEN, Texas - The Department of Homeland Security will allocate as much as $50 million to mitigate the environmental impact of the U.S.-Mexico border fence ordered by the Bush administration.The agency signed an agreement Wednesday with the Department of the Interior to set aside funds for projects that the Interior department determines will soften the environmental damage caused by the fence.
"Today's signing of this memorandum of agreement demonstrates that our commitment is not only words, but actual resources, which have been set aside to allow DOI to mitigate the impact of our border security efforts in environmentally sensitive areas," Customs and Border Protection Commissioner W. Ralph Basham said in a statement released Thursday. The Department of Homeland Security includes Customs and Border Protection, which is overseeing the fence project.
The Department of Interior must give DHS its list of proposals by June 1.
The environmental consequences have been part of the loudest opposition to building 670 miles of pedestrian fence and vehicle barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border.