In-Brief

EPA helps restore P.R.’s science lab, air quality monitoring capabilities

Eileen Villafañe, director of the Puerto Rico Environmental Quality Board Laboratory, Lopez, Tania Vázquez-Rivera, and Keith Glenn, EPA mergency and Remedial Response division tour lab facilities. (Photo: Courtesy of EPA)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is working with federal and local agencies to help the Puerto Rico Environmental Quality Board efforts to restore its science laboratory, it announced.

Furthermore, it is is also repairing, re-energizing and rebooting the government’s air monitoring network, which is a key component to ensuring air quality and protection of people’s health in Puerto Rico.

Working hand-in-hand with the Puerto Rico government, the EPA Nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, lead, fine air particles, ozone, and carbon monoxide can adversely affect people’s health.

This week, EPA Regional Administrator Pete López met with Department of Natural and Environmental Resources Secretary and Environmental Quality Board President Tania Vázquez-Rivera at the science laboratory in San Juan to review progress and continue the government-to-government coordination on hurricane response and recovery.

“We deeply respect the people of Puerto Rico and all they have been through. This trip reinforced the dedication of the community’s leaders and the close working relationship we have worked to develop.” said López, whose own family was made homeless by Hurricanes Irene and Lee in New York State seven years ago and who also has family in Puerto Rico.

“Under the leadership of President Trump and Administrator Pruitt, we are committed to storm recovery in Puerto Rico. We will continue to work with the government of Puerto Rico and other civic leaders to advance their vision for helping communities rebuild stronger and more sustainably,” he said.

The Puerto Rico EQB Analytical Laboratory in San Juan was severely impacted by Hurricane María and requires “major work to make it fully operational,” the authorities said.

The laboratory provides for critical analysis of drinking water, beach samples and surface waters.

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

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