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Friday, December 09, 2022

Groups sue US over dredging in Puerto Rico

SAN JUAN ( Associated Press) — The environmental organization Center for Biological Diversity on Tuesday said the U.S. terminal.

The US Army Corps of Engineers’ $60 million project to deepen and widen San Juan Bay’s shipping channels could remove 1.68 million cubic meters of marine sediment, the Arizona-based nonprofit said.

Dredging will take more than a year and some of the material removed can be moved to the Laguna del Condado Estuarine Reserve, popular with locals and tourists alike, to swim, snorkel and paddle in its waters, where Manatees and starfish are common. ,

The lawsuit further states that many “overwhelmed environmental justice communities” on and around the north coast of the island could be at risk of pollution, explosions and spills if dredging is completed and the terminal begins to operate. He pointed out that the Corps of Engineers did not consult with the communities that may be affected.

“The project could destroy corals, threaten communities and deepen the island’s dangerous reliance on fossil fuels,” Catherine Kilduff, an attorney at the center, told the Associated Press.

The center and two other environmental groups — Correlations and E Puente of Williamsburg Inc. — filed suit against the Corps of Engineers, the US Fish and Wildlife Service and others. Defendants have 60 days to respond, after which both sides will present their arguments, before a judge issues a decision subject to appeal.

Spokesmen for the two government agencies did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment. Earlier, the Corps of Engineers stated that dredged material in Laguna del Condado would fill sediments and create habitat for algae.

The lawsuit accuses the Corps of submitting a simple environmental assessment instead of a more rigorous impact statement and making a false determination in August 2018 that the dredging would have no environmental impact.

The lawsuit noted that more than 1.5 million people live in the eight cities and towns along the San Juan Bay: “The coastal economy is linked to the bay and its health.”

If the dredging project is completed, the oil and liquefied gas tankers will carry six times the capacity of the ships currently using the gulf.

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