Peñuelas muni assembly nixes the dumping of coal ash from Salinas
By John McPhaul
Elvin Lugo Rodríguez, a Puerto Rican Independence Party (PIP) municipal legislator in Peñuelas, announced on Sunday the approval of a resolution rejecting the alleged intention of the municipality of Salinas to dump coal ash removed from one of its communities at a Peñuelas landfill.
Lugo Rodríguez said that a month ago, Salinas Mayor Karilyn Bonilla Colón announced the renovation of the streets of the Ranchos Guayama community and promised its residents to remove the tons of coal ash from the Applied Energy Services cogeneration plant that were deposited as fill at the site.
The municipal legislator alleged that, although Law 5-2020 prohibits the deposit of ash in landfills, Bonilla Colón informed the community that she requested a waiver from the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (DNER) in order to dispose of toxic waste in a landfill in Peñuelas, Ponce or Humacao.
“We appreciate the unanimous support of the Municipal Legislature of Peñuelas for this resolution. We warned the DNER before, and now we warn the Popular Democratic Party mayor of Salinas: don’t even look at Peñuelas,” Lugo Rodríguez said in a written statement. “Likewise, if the [waste hauling] companies EC Waste or Ecosystems open the doors for the deposit of ash, whether legal or illegal, with or without a waiver, we will begin the protests again at the entrance of their landfills. Also, if the mayor of Salinas insists on negotiating to send us that radioactive coal waste, we do not rule out moving the picket line in front of the Salinas city hall.”