Virtual fence construction in Arizona on hold

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TUCSON -- Officials say construction on "virtual fence" projects scheduled along Arizona's border with Mexico is on hold indefinitely because the Interior Department hasn't signed off on use of its lands.

Interior Dept. hasn't signed off

U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman Mike Friel says Interior officials have not yet accepted a proposed finding in an environmental assessment produced for the U.S. Border Patrol that putting towers on Interior Department lands would have no significant impact.

Friel says authority to waive environmental laws for border security projects granted under a 2005 congressional act does not extend to virtual fence projects.

Prime contractor Boeing has suspended work on the projects.

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