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State Rep. Roland Gutierrez represents the South Side of San Antonio.
A San Antonio lawmaker has filed a bill in the Texas Legislature that would require the state to study whether the Trump administration's border would increase flooding and environmental damage.
Rep. Roland Gutierrez's House Bill 990
would direct the Texas Water Development Board and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to review the wall's potential effect on South Texas storm drainage and submit a study by March 1, 2020. The agencies would also be required to come up with ways to mitigate potential environmental damage.
“The Rio Grande Floodplain is home to several towns that have seen devastating damage from record breaking floods recently, something that a border wall would only make worse,” the Democrat said in a written statement.
Gutierrez pointed to a recent Texas Monthly investigative article
in which engineers warned a fence-like barrier could clog with debris and lead to catastrophic flooding.
Beyond its environmental impact, the wall is also a property rights issue, Gutierrez said. Landowners will have their property taken away or carved up to facilitate its construction.
Work on an eight-mile stretch of wall is slated to begin in September
— before the deadline for Gutierrez's proposed study. However, he said the study could give legal ammunition to the state to sue to stop the project.
Gutierrez will need to win over some GOP support in the Republican-controlled legislature, however he added that he's hopeful some will see the importance of standing up to the administration.
"This is about state's rights, which is everything the Republicans say they're about," he said.
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