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Op-Ed: Center for Creative Land Recycling helps P.R. advance Brownfields Inventory

There’s no time like the present to begin collaborating with the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources. 

As a Technical Assistance to Brownfields provider, the Center for Creative Land Recycling (CCLR) assisted the Commonwealth agency in designing an RFP to recruit a team to inventory all Brownfields in 78 municipalities and post information about the sites online. 

In just three short months, DNER’s authorized consultant, Marlin Environmental, completed an inventory for 12 municipalities: Aguadilla, Aguada, Cabo Rojo, Cayey, Coamo, Guayama, Jayuya, Hatillo, Mayaguez, Ponce, San Germán, and Yauco.

This important work will continue for another year to include the rest of Puerto Rico. It’s essential that Puerto Rico mayors and staff recognize Marlin Environmental’s role in assisting the DNER in the creation of this inventory, which complies with both Commonwealth and federal public policy. 

Reach out to Adelis Caban at Marlin Engineering at 787.395.7155 or [email protected] if you want to get a jump-start on this collaboration.

Along with photo documentation of sites, the DNER collected the following information:

• Name of the place
• Address
• Coordinates
• Property Size (m2)
• Owner’s name
• Owner’s Address
• Owner’s Contact Information (Telephone and email)
• Property classification (residential, commercial or industrial)
• Cadastre (land registry) Number
• Property Status (abandoned, partially in use)
• Past uses
• Type of Pollution (Suspicion or potential)
• Proposed Development
• Contamination by oil or Hazardous Substances

Puerto Rico Act 416 of Sept. 22, 2004, known as “The Environmental Public Policy Act” provided very broad authorities to the Puerto Rico Environmental Quality Board to align environmental practices towards the harmonious coexistence of Puerto Ricans in their natural environmental, whereby ensuring inter-generational equity, general wellbeing, as well as social and economic needs of present and future Puerto Ricans.  

Section 11, part a to f of Act 416 provides broad powers to the DNER to establish the rules, regulations, guidelines and standards necessary to establishing and implementing Puerto Rico’s Voluntary Brownfields Clean-up and Redevelopment Program with the end goal of putting today’s brownfields into beneficial reuse for society.  

Author David Southgate is special advisor to Center for Creative Land Recycling’s brownfields technical assistance program. He can be reached at [email protected].

In Section 11.a-f., the government of Puerto Rico authorized the government agency to eliminate as well as establish new rules, regulations, procedures, guides and standards for the establishment and implementation of a Voluntary Brownfields and Redevelopment Program for Brownfields in all 78 municipalities. 

In particular, the program is designed to encourage and incentivize the redevelopment and environmental cleanup for abandoned and underutilized properties that present an actual or possible risk to environmental contamination in order to return such sites into productive and beneficial reuse. 

The Center for Creative Land Recycling is a national nonprofit dedicated to transforming communities through land recycling.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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