Gov. Pierluisi Strays Away from Sol y Playa
Gov. Pedro Pierluisi on Tuesday said he would by no means intervene in the permit process of a pool that was being built in a project in Rincón that has been at the center of protests by environmental groups.
After attending a ceremony to commemorate José Celso Barbosa, one of the founding fathers of the statehood movement in Puerto Rico, Pierluisi urged the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (DNER) and the commonwealth’s Planning Board to act swiftly and put the controversy to rest. These two agencies have jurisdiction over the construction of the pool area that, according to environmental groups, endangers turtle species in the area.
“My policy at La Fortaleza is to not intervene with these decisions, which are related to permits or endorsements. I was Justice Secretary, and I respect the agency’s jurisdiction, particularly in matters of conflict of interests. What I ask from all agencies is to act with a sense of urgency,” he said while noting that the permits for the project were issued before he was elected governor.
During several weeks, dozens of activists concerned with construction projects that could pose a threat to the environment have protested against the pool work carried out by Sol y Playa. The controversy has been growing during the last days, with clashes reported between protesters and police.