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Challenging USDA’s Backing of Waste Incinerator Project in Puerto Rico

Outside of Arecibo, Puerto Rico, the construction of a 2,100-ton-per-day municipal solid waste incinerator may begin despite a poor environmental impact evaluation.

SHARKHATS / CC BY-NC 2.0

What's at Stake

Community members and municipalities across Puerto Rico are against the proposed incinerator, a facility which would lock in the most expensive and polluting means to control waste and the most expensive and polluting means to generate electricity—all while exposing communities already suffering from unsafe lead levels and other toxic emissions to even more pollution.

Overview

A polluting waste incinerator project will not only put communities in danger, but will also put iconic endangered species in harm’s way, including the Puerto Rican Crested Toad, Puerto Rican Boa, manatees, and the Puerto Rican Parrot. 

The United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service has been considering the proposal to fund a waste incinerator in Arecibo, Puerto Rico for Energy Answers since 2010. Groups are concerned the move would pave the way for generating dirty energy for decades, sending high volumes of waste to incineration and high volumes of air pollutants into an area that already exceeds safe concentrations for lead in ambient air. 

Community members and municipalities across Puerto Rico are against the proposed incinerator, a facility which would lock in the most expensive and polluting means to control waste and the most expensive and polluting means to generate electricity—all while exposing communities already suffering from unsafe lead levels and other toxic emissions to even more pollution.

Case ID

3114

Clients

Amigos del Río Guaynabo, Inc.
Comité Basura Cero Arecibo
Sierra Club de Puerto Rico

Case Updates

March 18, 2016 | Blog Post

Shutting Down a Wasteful Plan in Puerto Rico

An energy company is trying to fund the construction of a waste incinerator in Puerto Rico with federal dollars, even though the project could harm human health and the environment. (Spanish language version available.)

March 18, 2016 | Legal Document

Arecibo, Puerto Rico: 60-Day Notice of Intent to Sue

Arecibo, Puerto Rico: 60-Day Notice of Intent to Sue - Endangered Species Act Violations Related to Proposed Rural Utilities Service Financial Assistance to Energy Answers Incinerator