Chertoff's own words, in the above referenced site:
waive, in their entirety, all Federal, State, or other laws,
regulations and legal requirements of, deriving from, or related to the
subject of, the following laws, as amended: the National Environmental
Policy Act (Pub. L. 91-190, 83 Stat. 852, (Jan. 1, 1970) (42 U.S.C.
4321 et seq.)); the Endangered Species Act (Pub. L. 93-205, 87 Stat.
884 (Dec. 28, 1973) (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.)); the Federal Water
Pollution Control Act (commonly referred to as the Clean Water Act)
(Act of June 30, 1948, c. 758, 62 Stat. 1155 (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.));
the Wilderness Act (Pub. L. 88-577, 16 U.S.C. 1131 et..."
So much for a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.
Chertoff, in his position as head of Homeland Security, makes it clear he will destroy water supplies, pollute the water and air, kill off endangered species, destroy federal and state wildlife refuges (which is what's going to happen--is starting to happen--in South Texas.) Even though local officials in South Texas were told plans weren't finalized, they'd be consulted, their input would be considered before final plans were made...that was another lie. The last rare riverine habitat will be destroyed, along with its wildlife--and the income generated from tourism which comes to see the wildlife that will be destroyed.
I grew up in that area. I know that land. I love that land and its habitats and wildlife and people...and I'm also rather fond of the Constitution of the United States, which is being crumbled to dust by these people.
The fence is a rotten idea, from every angle you can think of. I'm not wholly surprised that people unfamiliar with the area think it's practical, but in an engineering sense it's not practical...in an international relations sense it's not practical or right....it's bad for everybody involved, including the US, and it's a bad, bad precedent to let the head of one agency overturn a bunch of laws Congress passed.