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Government/Politics

State Lawmaker Files Legislation To Study Possible Flooding From Border Wall

Wiki Commons http://bit.ly/2B0UmGC
Steve Hillebrand
/
US Fish And Wildlife Service

A San Antonio state lawmaker has filed legislation that would require state agencies to study how the proposed border wall might affect flooding in the border region.

Democrat Roland Gutierrez points to massive flooding in Nogales, Arizona, last summer after a steel border barrier nearby collected trash and debris, which contributed to water blockages.

“Well, essentially CBP along with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had done their own environmental impact analysis on what a potential wall would create in Nogales, Arizona, and, like I said, it was a significant rain but it wasn’t flash flooding, but it caused flooding on both sides of the border after the wall had been put up,” Gutierrez said.

Gutierrez said he believes the federal government may have manipulated environmental reports concerning the wall being built through Starr County and other South Texas communities.

“We’ve got significant flood plains along the border, especially in Starr, Hidalgo and Cameron counties, and we’ve got the same federal agencies and others telling us, ‘We can’t build this wall’ to ‘Now we’ve now a new study and we can after telling you for ten years we can’t,’ ” Gutierrez said.

His bill directs the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the Texas Water Development Board to study if a similar barrier in the Rio Grande Valley could cause the same problem, then forward their recommendations to the governor and attorney general, who could consider suing the federal government to stop the project.

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Ryan Poppe can be reached at rpoppe@tpr.org or on Twitter @RyanPoppe1