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International Journal of Public Health

, Volume 64, Issue 1, pp 59–66 | Cite as

United States Congressmen support the legalization of environmental health injustice in Puerto Rico

  • Luis A. Bonilla-SotoEmail author
Original Article

Abstract

Objectives

Analyze the role of two members of the United States Congress, two private enterprises, and the government of Puerto Rico in the approval of the counterproductive law “Ban on the Deposit and Disposal of Coal Ash or Coal Combustion Residuals in Puerto Rico” (Law No. 40) in the framework of the four principles for environmental policy making.

Methods

The gathered text documents were structured, reviewed, and coded using a content analysis protocol to produce coding categories and the final analysis.

Results

Two US congressmen, apparently influenced by private enterprises, had a decisive role in the approval of Law No. 40 which failed to comply with any of the four principles for environmental public policy making.

Conclusions

Puerto Rico’s Government succumbed to the extortion strategy of two US congressmen and private economic interests, and finally approved Law No. 40 which mistreats the general public and the environmental health of two low socioeconomic status communities in the municipalities of Guayama and Peñuelas. This law has the potential to negatively affect public health and the environment island-wide.

Keywords

Content analysis Environmental injustice Principles for environmental policy making Legislative process Coal ashes and human health US Congress 

Notes

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Copyright information

© Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental Health, Graduate School of Public Health, Medical Sciences CampusUniversity of Puerto RicoSan JuanPuerto Rico

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