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Puerto Rico Legislature seeks to investigate power utility’s inventory after Hurricane María

By on November 28, 2017

SAN JUAN – Rep. José “Che” Pérez presented legislation on Monday to investigate the inventory of materials and equipment belonging to the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (Prepa) and study the public corporation’s ability to meet the need pressing for the restoration and stabilization of the island’s grid after Hurricane María.

Pérez Cordero, who represents Aguada, Moca, Mayagüez, Rincón and Añasco, said in a written statement that with House Resolution 643 would help provide citizens some “certainty regarding the real projections for repairing the grid” and to learn about “the purchase of equipment and maintenance of inventory” for fiscal years -2016, 2017 and 2018.

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“Puerto Rico experienced for the first time in many years the onslaught of two intense hurricanes, Irma and María, that destroyed almost all the electric service, demolishing transmission towers, power substations, poles and power lines, which left all of Puerto Rico without energy service.

“Given the magnitude of the damage caused by these atmospheric phenomena, it has publicly transcended that the entity has been short of materials and equipment to meet the demand in the process of stabilizing the energy system,” the representative wrote.

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He added that “the Prepa administration’s lack of diligence in the purchase of materials in the past few years has had an impact on the problems we have today. It is necessary to investigate this situation and take appropriate measures,” the legislator said.

“We want to know, our citizens deserve to know the real situation,” Pérez Cordero added, “including the actions or omissions of those responsible of management in the purchasing and inventory area of the [power] Authority.”

An example of Prepa’s deteriorating infrastructure parts. (Agustín Criollo / CB)

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