TIME FOR CLOSURE: PUERTO RICO’S TOXIC DUMPS

As news spreads of efforts by the Puerto Rican municipalities of Yauco and Añasco to expand their toxic, illegal landfills – even at a time when Puerto Rico is broke – Hiram J. Torres Montalvo writes in a leading Washington publication, The Hill, that now is the time to close the dirty toxic landfills. Concerns were echoed in The Washington Post by John L. Rafuse who stated, “The EPA has enforcement power and responsibility for solid-waste cleanup and landfill compliance but has ignored for years filthy, Zika-breeding landfills in Puerto Rico.

An Excerpt from: “Puerto Rico’s toxic dumps: Obama’s legacy, Pruitt’s opportunity” by Hiram J. Torres Montalvo (February 9, 2017) and “EPA employees are blind to their own mistakes” by John L. Rafuse (February 10, 2017)

The Hill:
…“ in Puerto Rico, where I reside, more than 65 percent of landfills operate in violation of federal environmental laws, putting communities at risk and threatening to spark a public health disaster.”

The EPA has the authority under the Resources Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) to padlock the gates of toxic landfills today.”

We are confident that, if the EPA does its part, Puerto Rico, led by Gov. Rosselló, will do its part in helping to right a wrong that has gone on for far too long, and end the terrible scourge of illegal, toxic dumps in Puerto Rico.”

The Washington Post:
The EPA has enforcement power and responsibility for solid-waste cleanup and landfill compliance but has ignored for years filthy, Zika-breeding landfills in Puerto Rico.”

…“The EPA handed compliance authority to territorial and local authorities. The EPA has enforcement power but does nothing more than write to ineffectual local authorities.”

To read the full op-ed in The Hill, click here.

To read the full letter to the editor in The Washington Post, click here.