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Protesters Call On Governor to Address Coal Ash Disposal

By on November 28, 2016

SAN JUAN — More than a hundred demonstrators began arriving shortly before 4:00 p.m. to Fortaleza Street in Old San Juan to demand that Puerto Rico Gov. Alejandro García Padilla include Senate Bill 340, authored by pro-independence Sen. María de Lourdes Santiago, in the special session to immediately stop the coal ash disposal in the Tallaboa community of Peñuelas by Applied Energy Systems (AES).

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(CB/Agustin Criollo)

For the spokesman of the Committee for Health and Environment of the Tallaboa Encarnación community in Peñuelas, the pressure that the citizenship is exerting is causing the desired effect, since on Monday afternoon Senate Resolution 1444, which calls on the governor to include the topic in this special session, was unanimously approved in the upper chamber.

“This is already a movement at an island wide level. We have been joined by trade union leaders, clerics, environmental groups, students, all the people are with us and we ask this government to approve that bill because we cannot trust theh incoming government,” Borrero said referring to the appointment made Monday morning by Gov.-elect, Ricardo Rosselló, of Ramón Rosario as director of Public Affairs at La Fortaleza.

“Ramón Rosario is the lawyer of Easy Waste, and now they appoint him director of Public Affairs of La Fortaleza. Here we know how these people are corrupt. What they want is to get fed up with money, they do not care about the people or our health,” said the community leader.

Borrero said he was confident that the lawsuit, currently being evaluated by the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico, will be ruled in favor of the people based on the municipal ordinance that 44 municipalities of the island—including Peñuelas and Humacao—have already imposed to avoid the disposal of ashes in their respective jurisdictions.

Borrero stated categorically that there are studies that conclusively prove the damage that these ashes produce in the population, even though AES continues to deny this fact.

“Studies have been done and they themselves have had results that there are coal ashes and we are breathing them. We have information from the San Lucas Hospital in Guayama, which reported that prostate cancer cases in Guayama have tripled and other cancers also, as well as respiratory diseases, and they say it is because of these ashes,” said Borrero.

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