Government waives reviews for border wall in California

EL CENTRO, Calif. - The Trump administration is waiving environmental reviews to replace a stretch of border wall in Calexico, Calif.

The notice published Tuesday in the Federal Register says the waiver extends 3 miles (5 kilometers) west from the downtown border crossing in the city of 40,000 people. The Department of Homeland Security will replace an airstrip landing-mat style fence about 14 feet (4.3 meters) high with a bollard-style fence up to 25 feet (7.6 meters) high.

People crossing the border illegally in that area often try to swim the polluted New River.

It marks the seventh time the federal government has waived environmental reviews under a 2005 law. Last month, it waived reviews for a 15-mile stretch in San Diego.

Critics say the waivers are an overreach and a threat to the environment.

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