Claims of Corruption and Danger to the Island from Garbage Incinerator Planned for Arecibo
The Coalition of Anti-Incineration Organizations (prohibidoincinerar.org, Facebook, & Twitter) is battling against a ‘mega incinerator’ similar to the one proposed for the Curtis Bay community in Baltimore. (See, Activists Win The Day: Huge Grassroots Victory Over Curtis Bay Incinerator) Like the proposed Curtis Bay project, the company Energy Answers did not start construction in the time called for by its permit from the Maryland Department of Environment and Energy. In Baltimore the permit for the plant was rescinded, to the cheers of organized citizens opposed to the plant. In Puerto Rico, the US EPA extended the time period to start construction for 5 months, against the wishes of organized citizens.
On April 12, 2017 Coalition issued a Citizens Report Corruption on Second EPA Permit to Energy Answers strongly protesting the decision.
For full details go to: prohibidoincinerar.org.
Here’s the message from The Coalition of Anti-Incineration Organizations:
The Coalition of Anti-Incineration Organizations strongly protested the extension of the Permit of Significant Deterioration (PSD) of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to Energy Answers for an additional 5 months. This company proposes the construction of a megaincineradora in Arecibo. “We denounce the corrupt process of granting this extension of permission, which is highly irregular,” said Pedro Saadé, legal adviser to the Coalition. “The EPA’s October 1, 2015 (1) letter with the first extension of this permit specified that, and I quote” … in the event that Energy Answers does not begin construction by April 10, 2017, Region 2 is not inclined to grant another extension … because technology and air quality conditions will have become obsolete … “. So if the construction did not start at 36 months, the proponent would have to prepare a new application. This extension violates the rules of the EPA itself. Everything indicates that the EPA gave more importance to the lobbying and influences of Energy Answers than to health and the environment, “said Saadé.
“Last February, we reported that Energy Answers used a Washington lobbying firm,” The Horinko Group, “(2) to influence decision making at the EPA. This firm is headed by a former Bush administration EPA administrator, Marianne L. Horinko, “said Myrna Conty, Coalition coordinator. “This is the typical procedure of this corporation to achieve its project, pay for political influence and negotiate in dark rooms. Our lawyers sent a letter to the EPA on February 10, 2017 (3) trying to verify that the regulations would be followed, “he said.
“It is outrageous to find out that the EPA grants the extension of the permit, largely because Energy Answers has not secured funding for this risky project and is processing a loan with the federal Department of Agriculture. (4) When should EPA prioritize this in the face of protecting public health with the best available technology? “Conty said. “To make matters worse, Energy Answers has the nerve to raise in its letter to the EPA (5) that, because of the island’s economic crisis, it has not secured private funding and appeals to public funds from the Department’s Rural Utilities Services (RUS) Of federal agriculture, evidently risking these without any objection, “he continued. “This project is a great threat to our country. Governor Roselló gave him his endorsement without hearing our arguments. He included it in his list of “critical projects”, following Luis Fortuño’s corrupt trajectory, and approving it “fast track,” Conty continued. “Roselló claims that this is a” investment “of one billion dollars. It does not enter his head that we would pay the citizenship of the country, as if we were not sufficiently overwhelmed with the proposals of the Fiscal Plan of his government and the Fiscal Control Board, “he said. “In addition, this project would double the costs of transportation and disposal of solid waste to municipalities, over which the central government will eliminate more than $ 400 million of annual” subsidies “and the federal government threatens to cut project funds Communal, “Saadé said. “Roselló seems to care less about this situation,” he said. “The Coalition of Anti-Incineration Organizations will continue to fight, along with all our allies, to defend our citizens’ health, our natural resources and our environment and our economy, from the attack of this vulture company and its defenders. They will not stop us! “Conty finished.
- (1) EPA’s October 1, 2015 letter to Energy Answers granting the first PSD permit extension (see yellow shaded area on the second page): https://www.scribd.com/document/344771572/energy-answers-final-permit-extension-letter-pdf.
- (2) Internet link to “The Horinko Group” and lobbyist file Http://www.thehorinkogroup.org/ https://www.scribd.com/document/344945332/HorinkoM-20160713-File-Cabildera-Congreso
- (3) Letter sent by our attorneys on February 10, 2017 to EPA Region 2: https://www.scribd.com/document/344788734/2017-2-10-Letter-to-Region-2-Re-PSD-Permit-Extension-FINAL.
- (4) EPA letter granting PSD permit extension for 5 months https://www.scribd.com/document/344944182/EPA-Agrees-Second-Ext-PSD
- (5) Request Energy Answers to EPA second extension PSD permit (see third paragraph) https://www.scribd.com/document/344965081/Energy-Answers-Arecibo-PSD-Permit-Extension-Request-3-21-17-Final.