Affiliate Professor Melinda Taylor Quoted by Fast Company on Impact of Border Wall on Ecosystems

According to Fast Company, hundreds of miles of wall were successfully built, so its most lasting legacy might be the ecological destruction it has wrought. For example, though it’s been dry, environmentalists expect we’ll see flooding and other consequences because rivers have been dammed when portions of the wall were built across them. Natural water resources, such as the Quitobaquito Springs in Arizona’s Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, are also drying up, as contractors pump thousands of gallons of water out of the ground to mix concrete. Even if President-elect Joe Biden doesn’t remove the wall entirely, environmentalists hope he will take steps to mitigate its damage.

In an interview with ITL affiliate Professor Melinda Taylor, Taylor said the first thing Biden should do to address these environmental issues, is revoke a waiver that under the 2005 Real ID Act allows the Department of Homeland security to waive any federal, state, or local environmental laws before constructing the border wall. Additionally, Taylor said that the Biden administration should cancel existing construction contracts and tear down sections of the wall that have been constructed. “If it was done appropriately, it would have huge environmental benefits. You would not have those water problems . . . you would reestablish that connectivity for wildlife habitat.”