Carta de Organizacion Anti Incineracion a entregar a Hillary Rodham Clinton hoy (Versión en Inglés)

Diario:PuertoRicoNewsOnlineCoalición de Organizaciones Anti-Incineración
PMB 74 HC-01 Box 29030
Caguas, PR 00725

September 4, 2015.

Ms Hillary Rodham Clinton
Democratic Party President Pre candidate
Washington, DC

Hand Delivered

RE: Request to oppose Energy Answers Proposed Incineration Plant Financing by the US Department of Agriculture in Arecibo, Puerto Rico

Dear Ms Clinton:

Welcome to our island.

The undersigned are leaders of diverse community and environmental organizations of Puerto Rico that work on the preservation of our environment and our people’s health.

Since 2010, our main concern has been a proposal of an incinerator disguised as an energy project in the northwestern city of Arecibo, Puerto Rico by Energy Answers Arecibo, LLC. This corporation is based in Albany, NY and it’s CEO is a Mr. Patrick Mahoney of St. Croix, US Virgin Islands.

Arecibo has been fighting incineration proposals since more than 30 years ago and this is the third incineration proposal. The previous two were rejected.

We would like to request that you oppose the financing with US taxpayers monies of a proposal of a solid waste incinerator by Energy Answers in the city of Arecibo, Puerto Rico. They are requesting this financing to the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) of the US Department of Agriculture.

Congresspersons Luis Gutierrez, Nydia Velázquez and José Serrano have already made this request to Mr. Tom Vilsack, USDA’s Secretary.

This incinerator would burn 2,100 tons of daily, produce between 420-600 tons of ashes daily and would liberate a number of toxic products to the atmosphere, including dioxins, heavy metals such as lead, mercury, cadmium and chromium, acid gases and other unwanted products. All of these products are known to be harmful to human beings, especially to pregnant women and their fetuses, growing children, aging adults and other vulnerable populations, like those with asthma and other lung disorders.

Although there have been some advances in the prevention of air emissions of these plants, the permits that are granted to them do not protect the environment or public health. They only try to secure that the “best available control technology” (BACT) be used, and this does not prevent significant amounts of toxics to be released to the air. Paradoxically, the more efficient the controls to air releases are, the more toxins will be retained in the ashes, which will be landfilled.

We are very aware of the nanoparticles component of these emissions and the danger that they constitute. Another concern is the contents of the ashes which will be landfilled and eventually leak to the ground and contaminate our underground water resources. It is well know that these ashes landfills concentrate more toxics than the regular landfills.

This incinerator would cost, according to its proponents, 800,000,000 dollars ($800 million) and they are requesting “financial assistance” from the US Department of Agriculture (of all places) disguising it as an energy producing project, even though they will produce, by their own admission, only 80 MW of electricity. The source of these funds would be the Rural Utilities Service (RUS), a USDA division to provide infrastructure to isolated rural communities. May we add that the proposed incinerator site is less than 2 miles away from the Arecibo town center, hardly an isolated site, and that there’s actually a power plant in the same area of Cambalache, Arecibo.

They are even offering to lower the price of electricity on the island with their plant, not mentioning that their input would amount to less than 1% of the island’s actual energy production capability, making their statement demagoguery.

Energy Answers, through very efficient closed doors lobbying efforts, has been able to secure a contract with the Central Government’s Solid Waste Authority (SWA) assuring them that the island’s municipalities will be sending their solid waste to be burned.

However, in the Aug 20, 2015 Public Hearing held by RUS in the Arecibo Country Club, the opposition to this financial help was overwhelming. More than 550 attendees and more than 50 representatives of an ample range of organizations expressed their opposition to the project and its financing. This included Public Health Specialists, Academicians, Scientists, Professional organizations of Physicians, Chemists, Lawyers; Community Organizations like Casa Pueblo, Ciudadanos del Karso, Sociedad Ornitológica; Youth Organizations like Juventud Hostosiana, Political Organizations like Movimiento Independentista Nacional Hostosiano (MINH), Movimiento Unión Soberanista (MUS), Movimiento Socialista de Trabajadores (MST), Partido del Pueblo Trabajador (PPT); Municipal Legislators of Arecibo; Union leaders from New York; Unions leaders like UTIER; Ecological farmers , Zero Waste Puerto Rico and Zero Waste Arecibo; Mothers; Retired persons; Biologists, Teachers, Fishermen, Representatives from legislators, Citizens against ashes of the coal power plant of Guayama, and the members of the Coalition: Madres de Negro, Ciudadanos en Defensa del Ambiente (CEDDA), Sierra Club de Puerto Rico, Grupo Arecibo 2015, Colegio de Médicos-Cirujanos de Puerto Rico, among others.

Special mention must be made of the comments submitted at this hearing by both the Asociación and the Federación de Alcaldes (Mayor’s Association and Federation, which include all of the mayors of the island). They stated clearly that they oppose that the USDA provides any financial assistance to this incineration project. They denounced that an agreement signed by the central government through its Solid Waste Administration (SWA) and Energy Answers behind the mayor’s backs was illegal, a violation of local and possibly federal laws and would be challenged in the courts of law. As the statements of the Asociación de Alcaldes reads: “please be certain that this undesirable incineration project is destined to fail”. (Links A http://tinyurl.com/nora2rx, and B http://tinyurl.com/oru6pna).

Please note page 22 of the Energy Answers’ project Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) that reads as follows: RUS’s agency actions include the following:..” Evaluate the financial ability of the borrower to repay its potential financial obligations to RUS” http://www.rd.usda.gov/files/RUSAreciboDraftEIS_July2015_Eng.pdf.r
Based on this information, we understand that it would be highly irresponsible for the USDA to grant this financial assistance to Energy Answers. One of them certainly is that the contract that assures that they will have the delivery of solid waste that they will need to burn is seriously questioned. Their ability to repay the loan is highly questionable.
As stated before, we respectfully request that you oppose the financing with US taxpayers monies of a proposal of a solid waste incinerator by Energy Answers in the city of Arecibo, Puerto Rico. They are requesting this financing to the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) of the US Department of Agriculture.

If there should be any additional information that we could provide you about this request, please contact our Coordinator, Ms. Myrna Conty at gmchg24@gmail.com or at 787 360-6358.

Sincerely yours,

Aleida Centeno Wilfredo Vélez Hernández
Madres de Negro de Arecibo Ciudadanos en Defensa del karsicamontuna@gmail.com Ambiente (CEDDA)
787 354-0950 santaniza@gmail.com
939 281-5105

Adriana González Obed García, MD
Coordinadora Presidente, Comité de Salud
Sierra Club de Puerto Rico Pública y Ambiental
adriana.gonzalez@sierraclub.org Colegio de Médicos-Cirujanos de 787 688-6214 Puerto Rico
ogarciamd92@gmail.com
787 597-1167

Javier Biaggi Fernando Márquez
Basura Cero Puerto Rico Grupo Arecibo 2015
javierbiaggi@gmail.com fjm4444@hotmail.com
787 371-1709 787 645-2227

CC:
Pedro Pierluisi, Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner
Luis Gutierrez, Congressman, Chicago 4th District
Nydia Velázquez, Congresswoman, New York 7th District
José Serrano, Congressman, New York 15th District
Charles Schumer, NY Senator

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