Sunday, February 25, 2018

Group demands removal of Energy Answers project from Puerto Rico fiscal board list

By on February 13, 2018

SAN JUAN – Members of the Anti-Incineration Organizations Coalition demanded Tuesday the removal of Arecibo’s Energy Answers (EA) project from the list of critical projects of Puerto Rico’s fiscal oversight board.

The call for removal comes about after the panel created by the federal Promesa law expressed support for the project despite Gov. Ricardo Rosselló having withdrawn his endorsement last weekend.

“We demand that the Energy Answers project be removed immediately from the list of critical projects of the fiscal control board. Incineration is a threat to our health, environment and economy! Neither incineration nor landfill, the solution is Zero Waste!” organization coordinator Myrna Conty said in a press release.

Conty described characterized as an outrage that the fiscal board’s revitalization coordinator, Noel Zamot, continue to support the project “with the mask of ‘impartiality and independence.’ Since November 7, 2017, Zamot, obviously biased, presented the incinerator to Congress as an ‘exemplary critical project.'”

“It turns out that EA did not request to be a critical project until November 15, 2017. Do not you think it’s suspicious?” Conty questioned.

She alleged that on Jan. 8, Zamot allegedly violated the requirements of Promesa’s Title V and included the incinerator in the first group of candidates for critical projects, and requested public comment without providing the required report.

Public comment period for ‘critical’ Puerto Rico projects announced

“It was not until we made the accusations, that, cynically, they made up ‘extending the comment period for the benefit of the public.’ All for not recognizing that they did not follow the process, and suggests they believe they can go above the law,” she said.

Title V of Promesa provides for a process of expedited permits, both local and federal, for infrastructure projects that are certified as critical by the fiscal board

“In other words, a project of this magnitude, so harmful to health and the environment, would take a similar amount of time as the approval of a home garage. Something similar happened in 2010 when Governor Luis Fortuño, former lawyer and now EA lobbyist, issued sham executive orders of energy emergency to boost this nefarious EA project and obtain permits in record time,” she said.

“Zamot stated that the governor’s opinion is [only] ‘one more.’ What arrogance and disrespect! The only transparency they enjoy is their alliance with Fortuño and the EA vultures,” Conty said.

The coalition indicated that on Jan. 16 they requested from the fiscal board, among other things, a copy of communications between the board and its members, employees and office, and lobbyists in favor of Energy Answers. The group has not been provided with the information, Conty said.

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