10
Feb
2005

Protect our borders from the threat WITHIN them

We urgently need your help to protect the wildlife and people living along our borders, as well as to ensure the purity and safety of our air, water, and wild lands.

Tomorrow Congress could vote on a bill that would allow the Homeland Security Department to IGNORE ALL FEDERAL ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION LAWS, effectively giving them free reign to destroy national parks, forests, monuments, wildlife refuges, and wilderness areas along our borders.

Click here to send a free fax to your Representative urging him or her to vote NO on these unnecessary and harmful exemptions before it's too late! Or if you're a registered user, simply hit "reply" then hit "send" and we'll send the letter below on your behalf:
//www.saveourenvironment.org/ctt.asp?u=2205119&l=5912

This legislation will allow the Homeland Security Department to completely ignore long-standing laws like the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act and Safe Drinking Water Act. That means increased risks of air and water pollution for all of us.

Many of our border areas run through national parks, forests and monuments, wildlife refuges, wilderness areas and other environmentally sensitive areas. This bill could have a devastating impact on some of our last remaining wild lands!

Our border areas are home to hundreds of species of endangered plants and animals. If the Homeland Security Department is allowed to sidestep all environmental protection laws, animals already on the brink of extinction like grizzly bears, jaguars, and wolves could vanish forever.

Not only are these exemptions dangerous, they also appear to be unnecessary. Not one single Congressional hearing has illustrated a need for these broad exemptions. Never before has any federal agency been provided with such a breadth of unjustified exemptions from our laws.

We need your help to stop this legislation today! The House is expected to vote on this bill as early as tomorrow February 10, 2005, so there's no time to spare. Click here to take action now!
//www.saveourenvironment.org/ctt.asp?u=2205119&l=5912

We also need your help to spread the word about this dangerous legislation. Once you have taken action, please forward this email to your friends, family and co-workers and urge them to contact their Representatives too!

Thank you for your help!

Sincerely,

Katelyn Sabochik
Online Campaign Manager
info@saveourenvironment.org



Dear Representative,

I am extremely concerned about the sweeping exemptions from the landmark laws that protect our air, water, land and wildlife that would be given to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security if H.R. 418, The Real ID Act of 2005 were to become law. The bill includes unprecedented language allowing the secretary of Homeland Security to exempt the agency from all federal, state and local environmental laws when constructing walls, fences, roads and other barriers along U.S. borders. I strongly urge you to vote NO on this unnecessary and excessive piece of damaging legislation.

It is critical to note that this provision is not limited to a single fencing project along the San Diego border, but would apply to all areas along and "in the vicinity" of our international boundaries with both Mexico and Canada. Under this sweeping waiver, Homeland Security would be free to undertake large construction projects anywhere along our borders without oversight, accountability or legal constraints - from the densely populated border communities in California, Texas and Washington, to the remote wilderness of Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge in Arizona, to the pristine islands and waters of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in northern Minnesota. Never before has any federal agency been provided with such a breadth of unjustified exemptions from environmental laws.

We are a nation founded on the rule of law. To place any federal official above any law of their choosing - whether environmental, labor or civil rights - is a step that should not be taken lightly. In addition, Homeland Security has not demonstrated a need to waive any or all laws. In fact, there has not been a single congressional hearing that has illustrated a need for these broad exemptions. Furthermore, the removal of all avenues of judicial review is a direct affront to the most basic principles of checks and balances and separation of powers in our Constitution. We believe that it is possible to ensure border security while shielding the public and the environment from harm and have not seen evidence otherwise.

We strongly urge you to reject this attempt to include language that would allow Homeland Security to waive environmental laws or other important health and safety statutes.

Sincerely,
[your name here]
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