PRASA: No account records for residents of disputed reserve area
By The Star Staff
The Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (PRASA) on Wednesday informed residents who are allegedly residing illegally on Camino del Indio in Barrio Las Mareas in Salinas, within a protected reserve, that there are no official records of them having PRASA accounts.
As a result, PRASA said it will start a process to validate whether the residents comply with requirements to have water service in accordance with Articles 2.19 and 3.01 of the Regulation on the Use of Water and Sanitary Sewer Services, Regulation No. 8901.
“Every client must comply with the requirements imposed by the Authority, in addition to any other applicable law or regulation,” PRASA Executive President Doriel Pagán Crespo said in a written statement.
The public corporation gave residents five days to provide evidence showing that they comply with PRASA requirements.
If they do not provide such evidence, PRASA will suspend and close their accounts, Pagán Crespo said.
“If there are outstanding debts, they will be transferred to other active accounts under the subscriber’s name,” she added.
Once the account is closed, it can only be activated again after complying with the payment of the debt, if any, in addition to all applicable requirements to open a new PRASA utility account, such as: photo identification, payment of a deposit or bond, property title or rental agreement or use permit.
“For us it is imperative that each subscriber meets all the requirements established by law and/or regulation,” Pagán Crespo said. “Our greatest commitment is to provide quality, safe, but above all reliable water service, while ensuring the conservation of the natural resources of the island.”
A committee from the island House of Representatives was slated to hold an onsite inspection of the area on Wednesday to witness the damage caused to the Jobos Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve following complaints of campers and individuals building properties in protected zones. House Speaker Rafael Hernández Montañez said some of the residents have legal title deeds that have to be taken into account.
Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority officials have said all permits in the area were issued prior to 2021.