Rosselló: AES ashes to be deposited outside Puerto Rico
SAN JUAN — Governor-elect Ricardo Rosselló assured Wednesday that while the investigation on whether the ashes Applied Energy Systems (AES) produces in Guayama are toxic or not, the co-generator will seek agreements with any other jurisdiction outside Puerto Rico to deposit its coal combustion residues.
They have been depositing in Santo Domingo and other jurisdictions for several years; therefore, we must tale action. I have been meeting with the Health commissions presidents [in the House and Senate] to approach this reality and take action as soon as we have possession,” said the New Progressive Party (NPP) politician.
When asked by the press if that alternative wouldn’t imply transferring the problem elsewhere, Rosselló answered “that would be that jurisdiction’s public policy.”
“Certainly, and being responsible, there is still conflictive information in terms of [the ashes’] effect on health, but when it is related to health, one must act in advance. I am inclined to take action on where we can deposit the ashes in another place until the health controversy is diluted,” affirmed Rosselló.
The ashes were deposited in Dominican Republic’s Arroyo Barril, but in light of health problems the zone’s residents faced, carbon combustion ash disposal was prohibited.
On another hand, Environmental Quality Board (JCA by its Spanish acronym) President Weldin Ortiz Franco assured the agency is monitoring waste deposited in Peñuelas, and alleged they aren’t toxic.
On Wednesday morning 41 protesters, among them, pro-independence Sen. María de Lourdes Santiago, were arrested for obstruction of Justice and violations to the Traffic Act No. 22.
Protesters tried to deny entrance to more than 50 load trucks that were transporting the carbon ashes to EC Waste junkyard, on Peñuelas’ Tallaboa Encarnación and Seboruco sectors.