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.
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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