Court of Appeals rules in favor of coal ash disposal in PeñuelasEC Waste

The Court reverses excessive prohibition against landfill, protecting 300 jobs and the health and safety of citizens and communities

BY Webmaster / ON Oct 01, 2018

The Court reverses excessive prohibition against landfill, protecting 300 jobs and the health and safety of citizens and communities

The Court of Appeals of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico has ruled in favor of the Peñuelas Valley Landfill (PVL) and its appeal to continue coal ash use and disposal activities. The Court reversed the order issued by the First Instance Court of Ponce on the case of Peñuelas Valley Landfill, Inc. v. José M. Díaz y otros, et. al, which prohibited PVL to receive coal ash and its byproducts.

“The decision represents a victory for the rule of law in Puerto Rico and the island’s economic development. The sentence of the Court of Appeals supports our argument and secures the operation of our business”, explained Ramón Rosario Cortés, legal counsel of EC Waste in Puerto Rico.

“We are pleased with the court’s determination that vindicates and protects the operations of a fully compliant business against unfounded attacks from competitors and opposing groups. The ruling protects 300 jobs that were at stake due to the inferior court prohibition and allows EC Waste to resume activities that are performed in protection of the environment and the health of all citizens and communities in Peñuelas”, added Ricardo Soto, spokesman for EC Waste. In light of a prior court ruling that affirmed that the operations of PVL are within the law and that a ban by the Municipality of Peñuelas is void and null, EC Waste will resume receiving and disposing of Coal Combustion Residuals (CCRs).

EC Waste is the leading provider of non-hazardous solid waste management and disposal services in Puerto Rico. The company has several operations and activities including the operations of the PVL, and they are all managed in full compliance with the strictest industry standards set by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Puerto Rico Environmental Quality Board (EQB).

Furthermore, the safe use and disposal of Coal Combustion Residuals (CCRs) by EC Waste is consistent with the EPA policy of supporting the environmentally sound recycling and disposal of these materials. For example, one of the common uses of CCRs is for solidification of non-hazardous liquid waste, which in Puerto Rico represents a cost-effective method to safely dispose the non-hazardous liquid waste of the pharmaceutical industry. Also, EC Waste’s state-of-the-art facilities have permits and operation plans duly approved by the EQB which allow, among other things, the use and disposal of CCRs. Both the EQB and the EPA regularly inspect these operations to ensure they remain safe and compliant.