Puerto Rico’s southern region fights for cleaner air, water
By DÁNICA COTO
SALINAS, Puerto Rico (AP) — Puerto Rico’s southeast coast has long been considered one of the U.S. territory’s most contaminated regions. Impoverished communities like Salinas have for years absorbed toxic ash and noxious chemicals from coal-fired and thermoelectric power plants. Then the federal government announced that Salinas also has one of the highest concentrations of a cancer-causing gas in a U.S. jurisdiction. Emboldened by the attention the federal government has put on Salinas, people are demanding a huge clean-up and penalties for those contaminating a region where residents have long complained about health conditions ranging from cancer to Alzheimer’s.