Environment, Issues, Regulation

Puerto Rican Protestors May Have a Point – But They Are Making It Very Badly

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There is an environmental protest underway in borderline-bankrupt Puerto Rico. It involves the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the bereft Puerto Rican government – and nasty landfills.

As has always been the case, it is only thriving capitalist economies that can afford to care about the environment. Only they have the disposable income available to keep things clean.

Failing states like Puerto Rico? Not so much. A quintessential representative thereof is their landfills – which have been unfettered receptacles for any and every nightmare mess Puerto Ricans produce.

Puerto Rico’s Landfill Governing Authority Says They Do Not Inspect All Landfills on the Island: “(Puerto Rico’s Environmental Quality Board (EQB) only has) eight to 10 inspectors, who are not exclusively dedicated to landfill inspections and sometimes fail to inspect all the landfills on the island.”

Enter the awful EPA. They took time out from turning domestic rivers neon orange – to do an equally bang-up job overseas.

Puerto Rico Is Full Of ‘Open Dumps’ Ripe For Spreading Zika, And EPA’s Ignoring Them: “The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has ignored numerous reports that most of Puerto Rico’s landfills are out of compliance with federal law, and some could even become breeding grounds for mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus, according to a new report….(Puerto Rican attorney Hiram Torres) Montalvo’s hard-pressed to find a reason why the EPA, which is generally so eager to regulate every other aspect of life, has done nothing to enforce existing laws for Puerto Rico’s landfills.”

Image Credit: Ashley Felton Public Domain

Image Credit: Ashley Felton Public Domain

Enter the protestors.

Puerto Rico Demands EPA Clean Up its ‘Toxic Landfills’: “Puerto Ricans, disgusted with the Environmental Protection Agency’s ‘willful dereliction’ of its oversight of the island’s toxic landfills, are demanding that the head of the agency close them.”

Listen, we get it. The EPA is awful. It’s just that they’re usually awful in an overbearing, over-regulatory way. This is a fresh take on their terribleness.

So some Puerto Ricans – protested. A lot of Puerto Ricans protested. And by “protested” – we mean totally shut down a landfill site.

Protests Halt Landfill Deposits in Peñuelas: “Protestors in Peñuelas have stopped industrial waste trucks from entering the Peñuelas Valley Landfill today, as part of the marches and protests that have been taking place to prevent the deposit of ashes in the landfill….The protests grew to include hundreds of protesters, and on Friday (11/25) morning, the number reached 1,000.…Among the protesters present on Friday were political figures such as Carmen Yulín Cruz, the mayor of San Juan, and Rafael Bernabe, former candidate for Governor of Puerto Rico. ”

It all sounds very obstructive. Very Dakota Access Pipeline-esque:

Standing Rock Tribal Members & Allies Block Entrance to Pipeline Construction Site

Arrests Made as Citizens Block Dakota Access Pipeline Construction

Land Defenders Storm Construction Site

It all also sounds very organized. Also very Dakota Pipeline-esque.

We Don’t Negotiate With (Eco-) Terrorists: “Enter the environmentalist radicals. Specifically global-radical-George-Soros-funded EarthJustice….”

Do the Puerto Rican protestors get similar global-Leftist coin infusions? Not yet sure.

One thing the Puerto Rican protestors have over their Pipeline cohorts? They have a legitimate point. Are they pressing that advantage well? Not so much:

“Randy Jensen, president and CEO of EC Waste, the company that manages the Peñuelas Valley Landfill stated that the attacks on the company are based on a misinformation campaign, and that the actions taken by the company (EC Waste) are both lawful and environmentally conscious, noting that the company’s operational standards meet and exceed the current regulations established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).”

Get that? Puerto Rico is rife with landfills in serious breach of the EPA regulations the protestors want to see enforced. And they show up and blockade – one of the few landfills in compliance with the EPA regulations they want to see enforced.

Oops. Well, well-organized (and prospectively well-funded) – doesn’t mean well-thought-out.

This is the Left, after all.

This is a guest post by Seton Motley Founder and President of Less Government

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