An Arizona-based environmental group plans to sue the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in order to block the Trump administration from moving forward on the testing of prototypes for its proposed border wall.
The Center For Biological Diversity, a nonprofit dedicated to the protection of native species, sent a formal notice of intent Thursday to DHS Secretary John Kelly and Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. The group claims the border wall will destroy sensitive natural habitats and that proceeding with construction without an environmental impact review is a violation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
Center spokesman Brian Segee says the Trump administration hasn’t even paid “lip service” to protecting the environment, which would suffer “widespread damage” as a result of the wall’s construction.
“The administration’s failure to consider the impacts of these border-wall prototypes shows a striking disregard for our nation’s irreplaceable natural heritage and doesn’t bode well for how the administration will approach construction of the wall itself, which would be a disaster for people and wildlife alike,” he said in a statement.
The lawsuit would be the second time the Center has sued the Trump administration over the border wall specifically, and its 16th federal lawsuit targeting the White House’s environmental agenda in general. In April, the group filed a lawsuit to force DHS to prepare a “programmatic environmental impact statement” on the effects of border enforcement operations. (RELATED: Dem Lawmaker, Green Activists Sue Trump Over Border Wall)