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EPA Adds Battery Smelter Facility in Arecibo, Puerto Rico to the Federal Superfund List

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(New York, N.Y. – July 31, 2017) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has added a former battery recycling facility in Arecibo, Puerto Rico to its Superfund National Priorities List of the country’s most hazardous waste sites. As a result of previous operations, the site is contaminated with lead, arsenic and heavy metals. Before it temporarily stopped operating in the spring of 2014, The Battery Recycling Company, Inc. smelted lead batteries into lead ingots, which are bars of lead that can be reused in manufacturing.

“My goal as Administrator is to restore the Superfund program to its rightful place at the center of the agency’s core mission. Today, we are adding sites to the Superfund National Priorities List to ensure they are cleaned up for the benefit of these communities,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, “When we clean up these sites, we make communities healthier places to live and clear the way for development and increased economic activity.”



 
In the process of smelting the lead batteries, The Battery Recycling Company, Inc. generated large quantities of waste, including lead slag and lead-contaminated dust. Workers also carried lead dust on their clothes into their cars and homes, putting their families and others potentially at risk. Lead is a toxic metal that can cause damage to a child’s ability to learn and a range of health problems in adults. Arsenic is known to cause cancer, as well as many other serious health problems.

  • In 2010 and 2011, the EPA conducted a series of inspections of the facility to determine its compliance with federal laws and regulations.
  • The EPA took various enforcement actions against the company and reached a settlement in June 2011 under which the company agreed to clean up and prevent releases of lead dust from the facility.
  • The EPA also assessed homes and vehicles of former company employees that had become contaminated with lead dust from the facility. The EPA evaluated 202 homes and

282 vehicles, and the company then cleaned up 149 residential properties and 145 vehicles under EPA’s oversight.

  • Following the temporary shutdown of the facility in the spring of 2014, the company alerted the EPA to its financial inability to complete work under the settlement. The EPA then began work to stabilize lead slag piles and contain contaminated waste water to minimize the most immediate threats posed by releases from the site. That work is ongoing.
  • In September 2016, the EPA proposed the Battery Recycling Company site for inclusion on the federal Superfund list.The Puerto Rico Environmental Quality Board supports the inclusion of the Battery Recycling Company site on the federal Superfund list and the EPA has determined that Superfund is the best course of action to protect people’s health and clean up the contamination. The EPA took public comment and considered public input before finalizing the decision.
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Puerto Rico is Open for Tourists

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(SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico Buzz) – Travelocity® and Expedia Media Solutions®, in collaboration with the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, are ramping up efforts to help shift public perception of the situation in Puerto Rico, this week.

Puerto Rico has always been a popular destination for travelers, as well as a fantastic, long-term partner, and we jumped at the chance to work with Travelocity to support the Puerto Rico Tourism Company,” said Wendy Olson Killion, global senior director for Expedia Media Solutions. “The collaborative campaign will ensure new and repeat visitors know Puerto Rico is again open for tourism, and that tourism will positively impact the island’s economy and contribute to recovery efforts.”

Approximately 68,000 locals are employed in the tourism sector, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council. With this importance to the economy, the simple and enjoyable act of visiting Puerto Rico can make a huge difference. For more information on the Island, travelers can also visit SeePuertoRico.com.

“We are thrilled to have our Travelocity and Expedia partners join in spreading the word that the Island is, in fact, open for tourism,” said Carla Campos, acting executive director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company. “It is with pride and hospitality, traits that characterize our people, that we welcome visitors with open arms, because coming to visit us is the best way to support us right now.”

The campaign, which was donated on behalf of Travelocity and Expedia Media Solutions, includes on site advertising placements, a dedicated page highlighting the hotels and resorts that are open for business in Puerto Rico, and useful content about the country on the Travelocity “Inspire” blog.

Travelocity is offering $150 off a $1500 package booking with code CARIBNOW from now until February 6th, 2018 for travel between now and September 16th, 2018. For full terms and conditions visit http://travelocity.us/PuertoRico.

SOURCE Travelocity

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Rosselló Asks Police Officers to Return to Work

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(SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico Buzz) – Gov. Ricardo Rosselló asked members of the Puerto Rico Police Department to return to work, Jan. 8.

The massive absenteeism of police officers has been largely attributed to the lack of overtime pay in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, but some say it goes back even further.

“I ask of any partner of the uniformed force that is not attending [work]at this moment – I ask of them to return,” said Rosselló. It’s not just about giving a message about a series of initiatives, but it’s a matter of safety for our people.

Rosselló is currently evaluating how police officers that missed work, will be reprimanded.

“We’re establishing which administrative measures will take place,” said Rosselló. There’s a lot of information that needs to be gathered.

At times, approximately 8,000 police officers have missed worked, out of about 14,000 islandwide.

Police union representatives have said that police officers are using their sick and holiday time available.

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Watch Carmen Yulín Suck Up a Load of Bribe Cash

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(SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico Buzz) – Here we go again. Another Carmen Yulín appearance on The Simpsons.

Spoiler alert: Donald Trump tries to bribe Robert Mueller with a room full of cash. Mueller leaves.

Then Carmen Yulín walks into the room dressed as a housemaid before revealing her usual “comandante de la revolución” outfit.

Yulín then pulls out a vacuum cleaner to suck up the loads of American cold-hard-cash bribe money.

Mueller Meets Trump, Season 29

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