August 12, 2011: Markey Asks Homeland Security About Border Safety When Republicans Refuse to Listen

 If proposed legislation enacted, bedrock environmental laws would become null and void within 100 miles of the U.S. border
WASHINGTON (August 12, 2011) – House Republicans held a legislative hearing July 8, 2011 on the National Security and Federal Lands Act (H.R. 1505) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the agency charged with national security, was noticeably absent from the room. This legislation expands DHS’s authority by rescinding the environmental protection authority of three federal agencies, waiving thirty-six laws used by the National Park Service, the Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Forest Service to protect the environment. Laws like the Clean Air Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Solid Waste Disposal Act would become null and void within 100 miles of the U.S. border. This week, Congressman Edward J. Markey, Ranking Member of the House Natural Resources Committee, sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to find out where the agency stands on the legislation. DHS has not been given the opportunity to testify on this bill.
Expert after expert has explained to House Republicans that waiving all environmental protections affecting the air, water, and entire ecosystems within 100 miles of our borders is not the answer to our border security challenges, but they have turned a deaf ear with this misguided legislation,” said Rep. Markey. “The original Boston Tea Party threw crates of British Tea into Boston Harbor to protest taxation without representation.  But today’s Republican Tea Party extremists seem to think that the solution to every problem is to throw the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the National Environmental Protection Act overboard.  That is just nonsense.  We need to beef up our borders against illegal immigration, against terrorists, and against the drug trade. But we should be doing that with soldiers outfitted with night-vision goggles, not with short-sighted bills that do nothing to help secure our country.”
A full copy of the letter to DHS can be found HERE .