Loss of Privacy
July 21, 2011
A new house bill wants to allow the Department of Homeland Security to have jurisdiction over all federal lands on national seashores and coastal areas.
HR Bill 1505, the “National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act,” would force the Secretary of the Interior to cede authority of coastal public lands, as well as lands located along the borders of Canada and Mexico, to the Secretary of Homeland Security when the latter sees fit. It would give the Dept. of Homeland Security the ability to construct roads and fences, deploy patrol vehicles and set up “monitoring equipment” in the National Seashore with impunity. And it would waive the need for the Dept. of Homeland Security to comply with environmental laws in areas within 100 miles of a coastline or international border.
The laws from which the Dept. of Homeland Security would be exempt include the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, the National Historic Preservation Act, the Clean Air Act, the Coastal Zone Management Act, the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act and virtually every other piece of environmental legislation passed by Congress.
This is far too sweeping legislation. It essentially allows the DHS to do whatever it wants, including destroying habitats and coastlines, all in the name of security. There would be no oversight and no recourse for anyone or anything in the affected areas.