LETTER TO OFFICIALS: LOCK THE GATES ON PUERTO RICO’S TOXIC LANDFILLS


In a joint letter to the EPA and Puerto Rican DNRA, Puerto Rico Limpio tells Pruitt and Vázquez Rivera that administrative orders and court filings are not enough

(SAN JUAN, P.R. – April 19, 2017) Today, Puerto Rico Limpio released a joint letter it sent to Administrator Scott Pruitt of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Secretary Tania Vázquez Rivera of the Puerto Rican Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (DNRA) asking them to use existing authority to immediately close all of Puerto Rico’s toxic municipal landfills.

Torres Montalvo reminded the officials that “in a letter to Puerto Rico Limpio late last year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) acknowledged that 19 of the island’s 29 landfills do not even meet the most basic federal requirements, making them illegal open dumps.” However, he noted, “only 12 of those landfills are under any form of action to close and none of them have been fully enforced yet. The result has been an environmental disaster across the island that continues to this day.”

“Recent actions taken by the EPA in Toa Alta and Santa Isabel are simply window dressing aimed at appeasing Puerto Rico Limpio and Congressional investigators. They are fake closures and judicial actions,” wrote Torres Montalvo.

The letter urged Pruitt and Vázquez Rivera to “work together to use your authority and close all of Puerto Rico’s toxic landfills immediately. Administrative orders and court filings have been filed and ignored for over a decade with no consequences,” Torres Montalvo wrote. “Additional paperwork is not the answer; putting a lock on the gates of Puerto Rico’s toxic landfills is,” he concluded.

To read the letter Puerto Rico Limpio sent to Administrator Pruitt and Secretary Vázquez Rivera, click here.