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The controversial gas pipeline project proposal would now be filed in segments in order to advance its construction -- something that is contrary to U.S. environmental policy, warned this week spokespersons from the Sierra Club and Casa Pueblo de Adjuntas.

They assured that the Inter-Sectorial Committee for Environmental Compliance and Energy Alternatives, appointed by governor Luis Fortuño, seeks to advance a “confusing strategy” that promotes behind closed doors the construction of the 92-mile pipeline, also called “the pipeline of death.” The reason for this is because it could considerably reduce the number of votes amid the election year and because the project has technical faults that have kept it from obtaining the necessary permits from the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).

In a press conference, Arturo Massol from Casa Pueblo indicated that in a meeting they held with top officials from the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) they learned the committee is pondering whether to build the northern stretch of the pipeline, as part of its first construction phase.

“They informed us that they’re going to gasify the north using a buoy system that would be feeding the San Juan and Palo Seco electric power plants and that it would be located north of Cataño,” Massol said.

The proposal would start building the stretch on the actual mapped route of the gas pipeline.

“They insist on building this pipeline from San Juan to Cambalache in Arecibo,” he continued saying.

But this stubbornness is unjustified because this plant only produces 1.5 percent of the energy the country consumes, the expert said.  

“If they win the election the first public works they carry out over the first 100 days in office would be placing the first stone of the gas pipeline,” Massol denounced.

In view of the persistence on the gas pipeline project, Ángel Sosa and Camila Feibelman from The Sierra Club warned they would file a lawsuit against the Corps of Engineers, if they grant the permit for building the gas pipeline.

Meanwhile, PREPA executive director and member of the committee Otoniel Cruz denied all the accusations by the environmentalists.


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