PUERTO RICO’S ENVIRONMENT CHIEF ADMITS LANDFILLS ARE TOXIC

Under questioning from incoming Governor-elect Rosselló’s transition, Weldin Ortiz admits failure to enforce federal and local laws

(SAN JUAN, P.R. – December 8, 2016) – Under intense questioning from incoming Governor-elect Rosselló’s transition team, Environmental Quality Board (EQB) President Weldín Ortiz Franco admitted the majority of Puerto Rico’s landfills are in violation of federal law.  This confirms what Puerto Rico Limpio has been saying for months, and that officials have tried to hide this from the public.

“Weldín Ortiz’s admission that his office failed to enforce the law is criminal,” said Hiram Torres Montalvo, co-founder of Puerto Rico Limpio. “The actions of the EPA are criminal.  Under Judith Enck, the EPA has treated Puerto Ricans like second-class citizens. This would not have happened in New Jersey or New York. They’ve ignored the health and safety of our community.”

Our 4-point plan is the best solution for a rapid transformation into a compliant, sustainable solid waste management system. The plan would 1) Revoke the permitting authority of the Puerto Rico Environmental Quality Board (EQB); 2) Close toxic dumps immediately; 3) Repurpose closed landfills for conversion to better uses, like clean, sustainable energy alternatives like solar and wind generation; and 4) Adopt a plan for full compliance.

“Puerto Rico’s handling of solid waste is decades behind the rest of the United States and there is no excuse to wait any longer. Now is the time to act decisively, close these landfills, to stop wasting time and taxpayers money on composting and modernize our entire approach to solid waste management,” added Torres Montalvo. “We look forward to working with Governor-elect Rosselló and the new EPA leadership to develop a solution to this humanitarian crisis.”