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Arizona Governor Blasts EPA

June 1, 2000

MESA, Ariz. (AP) _ The governor criticized the federal government for halting construction of measures designed to discourage illegal immigration at the Arizona-Mexico border until a new environmental impact study is done.

``We are in crisis in southern Arizona,″ Gov. Jane Hull said Wednesday. ``People’s lives, property and livelihoods are at stake, and the federal government wants another study. This makes no sense.″

Studies have been done to assess the impact of fences, roads and lights at the border, but the Environmental Protection Agency wants another study to see whether the three components taken together will cause any environmental harm, agency spokesman Charles Klingberg said.

The new study will probably take 60 days.

Hull said the thousands of illegal immigrants crossing into Arizona every month are doing far more damage than would be done by the Border Patrol.

``It is ironic that the federal government has not addressed that damage but is worried about the impact of a mile-long fence,″ she said.

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