Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff waived several environmental laws on Monday in order to continue construction of nearly seven miles of the sprawling fence along the U.S.-Mexico border. Work on the section that crosses the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area near Naco, Ariz., had been halted due to a ruling two weeks ago that the administration had spent too little time reviewing the environmental impacts of the fence. Chertoff disagreed, saying further delay on border fence construction presents “unacceptable risks to our nation’s security.” This is the third time Chertoff has waived environmental laws to build sections of the fence. Some of the eco-laws dispensed with are the Solid Waste Disposal Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and the Endangered Species Act. Chertoff has also waived various conservation laws, but it’s all apparently for the good of humanity. Explaining his deliberations, Chertoff said two weeks ago, “I have to say to myself, ‘Yes, I don’t want to disturb the habitat of a lizard, but am I prepared to pay human lives to do that?'”

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