Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva has asked Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano's office to "mitigate and monitor" the environmental impact of the several-hundred-mile Southwest border wall.
The request came in a letter to Napolitano's office signed by 43 congressman, including Gabrielle Giffords and Ed Pastor, and endorsed by a number of environmental organizations.
"We're seeing problems with flooding, erosion, sedimentation, and habitat loss," says Sierra Club spokesperson Dan Millis. "The wall is posing a huge threat to integrity of border ecosystem - we need to do something."
Millis, who worked with Grijalva's office on the letter, says the wall also disrupts animal-migration patterns, and -- in some areas -- has caused water to dam up against the border wall during flash floods, eroding dirt and possibly even undermining the structural integrity of the wall itself.
The letter, sent Friday, requests that Napolitano's office work more closely with federal land managers and local DHS officials in planning the wall, and to ensure all local environmental laws are upheld in order to avoid unintended environmental consequences.
Grijalva expects to hear back from Napolitano's office sometime this week.
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