Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Group Denounces Lack of EPA Cleanup Resources for Puerto Rico

By on May 21, 2016

SAN JUAN – A multisectoral group, Puerto Rico Limpio, criticized the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) after its administrator, Gina McCarthy, announced investments totaling $55.2 million to clean up 131 communities across the U.S., but did not include any in Puerto Rico.

“We are experiencing a large-scale economic crisis in Puerto Rico and disadvantaged communities continue to suffer from the toxic dumps the EPA has failed to close for decades,” said Hiram Torres, cofounder of Puerto Rico Limpio.

In his opinion, “this is another opportunity the EPA has lost to help reverse the damage its failures have caused. Now this multimillion-dollar fund allocation is granted to contaminated areas and communities, except for Puerto Rico, which means the EPA is not doing its job.”

CANTERBURY, UNITED KINGDOM - AUGUST 23: A bull dozer moves rubbish at the Shelford Landfill, Recycling & Composting Centre on August 23, 2007 near Canterbury, England. The Shelford landfill site, run by Viridor Waste Management receives 200 truck loads of waste weighing 2100 metric tonnes a day. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

(Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

Torres demanded that McCarthy direct the agency’s attention to the landfill crisis in Puerto Rico. “Despite more than two-thirds of the landfills on the island having been documented as toxic and not meeting EPA standards for years–some for decades–they still continue to operate and receive waste every day.”

“With everything Puerto Rico faces today and the neglect by the federal government we have already suffered, McCarthy’s announcement is a reminder that the EPA does not seem to know Puerto Rico exists,” Torres said.

Puerto Rico Limpio and U.S. environmental advocacy group Green Latinos have posted an online petition to the EPA demanding immediate action over the island’s landfill problem.

“The EPA knows the sites are dangerous and has yet to force their closure, potentially putting underrepresented communities in direct harm for generations,” the petition reads.

Inter News Service

Online: www.greenlatinos.org/epa_petition

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