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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Materials extraction halted at Columbus landing site in Aguadilla

This portrait of Christopher Columbus, preserved in the U.S. Library of Congress, is a 19th century copy from an engraving by Aliprando Caprioli. (Wikipedia)

By The Star Staff

In compliance with the law that empowers the assistant secretary of the Office of Permit Management (OGPe by its Spanish acronym) to issue temporary cease and desist orders at the time they deem necessary, without prior judicial intervention or authorization, officials on Wednesday ordered the immediate suspension of the extraction of materials from the topsoil on the grounds of the Christopher Columbus landing project in Aguadilla.

The order was issued due to the discovery of objects of historical or archaeological value such as stone carvings, ceramics, shells and wooden artifacts.

The proposing party will have to coordinate with the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture (ICP) and the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (DNER) any study or analysis either of those agencies require in order to continue with the authorized work. Within 10 days, the concerned agencies with jurisdiction will issue their recommendations or proceed in accordance with their delegated powers under their applicable enabling laws and regulations.

On July 6, 2023, the OGPe and DNER issued the Single Incidental Permit 2016-127351-PUI-009008 for the aforementioned project. The permit represents a renewal of Consolidated General Permit 2016-127351-PGC-002932, issued in 2018.

Through a communication dated April 3, the ICP issued a communication to the DNER and OGPe notifying them of the findings identified in an inspection conducted on the project premises. The communication noted that ICP personnel were able to verify in an inspection of the relevant area that there is evidence in plain sight of numerous and varied objects with historical-archaeological value.

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