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News > Latin America

Puerto Rico: Court Rules in Favor of Fortune 500 Company's Coal-Dumping

  • Protests against ash deposits in Peñuelas,

    Protests against ash deposits in Peñuelas, | Photo: EFE

Published 18 July 2017
Opinion

Last week, former political prisoner and Puerto Rican independence fighter Oscar Lopez Rivera, joined the protests against the toxic ash production.

A judge in Ponce, Puerto Rico ruled Tuesday in favor of the the AES Puerto Rico (AESPR) corporation coal plant, which has been accused of dumping toxic coal ashes in the area.

RELATED: 
Oscar Lopez Rivera Joins Fight Against Toxic Coal Ash Dumping

At the Ponce Court of First Instance, the petition filed by the Health, Development and Environment Committee of Tallaboa, against the Environmental Quality Board (ECB), EC Waste, Truckers Inc, Peñuelas Valley Landfill and AES Puerto Rico (AESPR), the judge issued no order, dismissing the plaintiffs' request.

"According to this, AESPR maintains the right to operate in accordance with the new Law 40-2017 and in compliance with the environmental regulations established by the EQB and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), so we will continue our normal operation," Manuel Mata, president of AESPR, stated in a press release.

The Camp Against the Ashes in Peñuelas.

The request was made by the committee amid ongoing protests against the AESPR’s dumping of the coal ashes. The community is undertaking an active struggle against the Fortune 500 company's activities in the area.

The production of coal waste is said to have caused serious health issues for the people there, ever since last year's quietly-made deal between the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Puerto Rico Electric and Power Authority removed a clause in AESPR's contract that prohibited coal ash dumping on the island.

Last week several activists were arrested while trying to prevent the trucks from depositing AESPR waste in Peñuelas.

Protests against the ash deposits this weekend.

In November, a Puerto Rican Independence Party Senator, Maria de Lourdes Santiago was also among 41 people arrested during protests against AES.

Also last week, former political prisoner and Puerto Rican independence fighter Oscar Lopez Rivera, joined the protests against the toxic ash production by the company.

“If we fight, let us triumph. We need to decolonize our spirit... Without struggle there is no victory,” the independence fighter told press.

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