Governor activates National Guard to collect used tires

By John McPhaul

The Puerto Rico National Guard (PRNG) will provide support to the government and municipalities in the collection of used tires from island “gomeras” after Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia signed Executive Order 2021-055 on Monday to activate the PRNG to address the excessive ac-cumulation of tires.

In April the governor declared an environmental emer-gency and ordered the agencies to take all the necessary measures to prevent the accumulation of used tires from continuing.

“The government urgently addressed this situation and established a comprehensive strategy to address various factors and work with the emergency effectively,” the governor said. “We have been working to address this situation from different angles and that is why we now integrate the National Guard to provide support and have a faster response.”

Pierluisi said that, after an evaluation of the magnitude of the accumulation of tires, he has no doubt that in addition to the cooperation that is being received from island mayors, the technical assistance of the National Guard is necessary.

“In particular, it is necessary that it help in the process of collecting and transporting the discarded tires,” he said.

PRNG Adj. Gen. José Reyes said the PRNG will begin the new mission in support of the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources on Wednesday.

The PRNG will deploy two engineering battalions and a transportation battalion, “which have heavy equipment, trucks, and personnel capable of removing and transporting up to 22,000 tires per day during this activation,” Reyes said.

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