Fight over ash dumping in Peñuelas
Peñuelas has been battling a company over their practice of dumping coal ashes. These ashes have been found to be toxic with several members of the community complaining over the practice. Activists have organized to protest and legally battle the company.
A back and forth has continued between the legality of the actions taken by Ecosyst.
At first, the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico sided with a municipal ordinance to stop the waste from being dumped. This decision was then overturned by the United States First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston. There was a slight victory when the government approved a bill that would prohibit dumping ashes yet last minute amendments were added, which allowed the specific type of ashe waste to continue being deposited.
In the following days since police escorted trucks filled with the ashes. Police and trucks are being met by protesters. The confrontations begin each time the company transports the ashes to be dumped and end with various arrests. Meanwhile, residents near the dump are in a lose-lose scenario as they are against the toxic ashes and fear the effects it may have on their health, but are also affected by the police throwing tear gas to disperse protesters.