EPA IGNORES PUERTO RICO IN ENVIRONMENTAL FUNDS

(San Juan, Puerto Rico) The multi-sectoral citizen’s group Puerto Rico Limpio criticized the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today after EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy announced $55.2 million in grants to 131 communities across the United States for cleaning up contaminated sites, without any funds for Puerto Rico.

“We are in a full-scale economic crisis in Puerto Rico, and disadvantaged communities are suffering from toxic landfill sites that the EPA has failed to close down for decades,” said Hiram Torres Montalvo, co-founder of Puerto Rico Limpio.  “This is another missed opportunity for the EPA to help undo the damage its failures have done.  For any large set of grants to be issued on any contaminated land in communities, and Puerto Rico to be completely ignored, is a sign of how EPA is not doing its job.”

Torres Montalvo demanded that EPA Administrator McCarthy direct her agency’s attention to the landfill crisis in Puerto Rico.  More than two-thirds of the Island’s landfills have been documented as toxic and non-compliant with EPA rules for years, some for decades, and yet they continue to operate and accept waste every day.

“With all that Puerto Rico is facing today and the neglect we’ve already suffered from the federal government, today’s announcement by Administrator McCarthy was a reminder that the EPA doesn’t seem to know that Puerto Rico exists,” Torres Montalvo said.

To see a map of Puerto Rico’s toxic landfills that EPA has allowed to continue operating, follow this link to our website: www.puertoricolimpio.org

Puerto Rico Limpio and the U.S. environmental advocacy group Green Latinos launched an online petition to the EPA today, demanding immediate action on Puerto Rico’s landfill crisis: “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 says.  To view and sign the petition, visit: www.greenlatinos.org/epa_petition

To know more about Puerto Rico Limpio, its mission and important information about unsafe and non-compliant landfills, visit: PuertoRicoLimpio.org, Puerto Rico Limpio  on Facebook, and/or follow us on Twitter at: @PRLimpioOrg.