April Thomas, 206.321.3850, firstname.lastname@example.org
San Juan, Puerto Rico, -- Recent reporting in El Neuvo Dia revealed plans from coal company AES to relocate their infamous coal ash pile to be stored in Osceola County, Florida. The coal ash pile became a flashpoint after Hurricane Maria, during which much of the pile blew off into the ocean due to the company’s failure to properly cover and secure the toxic byproduct of their coal burning.
Now the company plans to relocate the toxic coal ash to a landfill in Osceola County, home to the second-largest group people in Florida who were forced to leave Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, according to some estimates. Advocates in Florida and in Puerto Rico are calling out AES for responding to community pressure over the dangers posed by the coal ash pile by moving this source of toxic pollution to poison another community of Boricuas.
“The people of Puerto Rico didn’t fight for years to get this toxic pollution removed from our communities just so AES could turn around and force their poison on Puerto Ricans in Florida,” said Adriana Gonzales, environmental justice organizer for Sierra Club de Puerto Rico. “Now AES wants to dump their pollution in the very place that people fled to for safety. It’s no coincidence that AES is targeting Osceola County as an affordable place to dump the toxic byproducts of their coal burning. No matter where we live, Boricuas are treated as disposable and our communities are dumping grounds for pollution.”
“This poisonous coal ash shouldn’t be stored in anyone’s community,” said Frank Jackalone, director of the Florida Sierra Club chapter. “The landfill where it is being stored is lined by a material that is inadequate to prevent these toxins from reaching groundwater. The only solution is to stop producing this toxic coal ash by ending coal burning at the AES coal plant in Guayama and transitioning all our communities to affordable, reliable clean energy.”
About the Sierra Club
The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 3.5 million members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit www.sierraclub.org.