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USDA Rural Dev’t awards $23.7M grant to repair Juncos landfill

The USDA Rural Development has awarded the Municipality of Juncos $23.7 million in grant funding to repair its landfill facilities that were damaged by Hurricane María in 2017, Luis R. García, acting state director for Puerto Rico, announced.

The Juncos Municipal Solid Waste Landfill receives approximately 35,105 tons of non-hazardous solid waste every year.

Hurricane María produced “tremendous amounts of waste in the period from October 2017 to December 2018,” officials said.

This amount of waste reduced the landfill’s useful life by approximately 20 months.

“As consequence of the Hurricane María, the existing cell’s leachate collection system was destroyed, thereby creating a serious health and safety hazard for neighboring communities and placing underground water resources and nearby streams at risk of contamination due to the leachate spillage,” said García.

With the assistance of USDA Rural Development funds, the municipality will build new cells that feature a geo-membrane liner that will trap and contain leachate and manage storm waters and methane gas generation, the agency confirmed.

These repairs will provide the landfill an additional 21 years of useful life and benefit 350,315 people serviced by this facility.

The grant award stems from supplemental funding appropriated to repair drinking water, sewer, and solid waste disposal systems damaged by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and María, the USDA confirmed.

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

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