ILLEGAL LANDFILLS ARE “ISLANDWIDE CRISIS”, SAYS OVERSIGHT BOARD

Puerto Rico Limpio praises Oversight Board for recognizing landfills as “critical infrastructure”, calls on Governor Rosselló to close dumps and Resident Commissioner Gonzalez to show leadership in Washington

(SAN JUAN, P.R. – March 31, 2017) Puerto Rico’s landfills are in “crisis” with most being over capacity and operating illegally, drawing the concern of the U.S. Congress, according to statements today by officials of the Federal Oversight Board.

“We are grateful to the Oversight Board for acknowledging the severity of the landfill crisis,” said Hiram J. Torres Montalvo, co-founder of Puerto Rico Limpio. “We urge Governor Rossello and Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González to take immediate actions to support closure.”

“Solid waste management is an island-wide crisis with a majority of landfills over capacity, not complying with EPA regulations and scheduled for closure,” said Ramon Ruiz Comas, executive director of the Board, in discussing the need for funds to improve and repair “critical infrastructure” in Puerto Rico. The comments followed Oversight Board member David A. Skeel, Jr., noting that the U.S. Congressional Task Force on Economy Growth in Puerto Rico included in its report to Congress it was “concerned about landfills in Puerto Rico.”

Puerto Rico Limpio recently released letters to Governor Rosselló and Resident Commissioner González urgently asking for their leadership in immediately halting operations at non-compliant municipal landfills and seeking federal funds for closures and cleaning up contaminated lands. Neither official has yet responded, privately or publicly.

“The only non-compliant municipal landfills in the United States today are in Puerto Rico,” Torres Montalvo said. “This is not how States behave.”