DISUR Issues State of the Industrial Zone
PR#127 Reports on Infrastructure Deficiencies and Investment Strategies for the Petrochemical Zone of Guayanilla, Peñuelas at June 13 Conference
(Ponce, Puerto Rico – June 1, 2012) – Responding to 20 years of divestment in the former petrochemical complex of Guayanilla and Peñuelas, the socioeconomic development agency Desarrollo Integral del Sur, Inc. (DISUR) issues its State of the Industrial Zone, reporting on the condition of roads, bridges, sewers, electrical service, flood control, and other infrastructure in the area. The exhaustive investigation provides investment strategies that will transform the once productive industrial zone into a hub of economic progress for the south region of Puerto Rico. The presentation, part of the EPA-sponsored project PR#127-Guayanilla-Peñuelas, will take place at 6PM, June 13, 2012, in the Convention Center of Guayanilla's Barrio Indios neighborhood on Puerto Rico Road 335, KM 10.9.
“To transform this 3,500-acre area, local, central and federal governments, and private industry have to address the long-neglected infrastructure serving the industrial zone,” said PR#127 project manager David Southgate. “This will happen through changes in public policy and infrastructure capital projects that will become the model for future area-wide development strategies in Puerto Rico”.
Creative reuse of existing infrastructure coupled with new investment will support proposed development of a Solar Park, bio-algae production, two recycling facilities – one for e-waste and one for general recycling — industrial parks, a community refuge in case of emergencies, buffer zones and eco-cultural activities. These reuse ideas developed through community conversations where residents of the Brownfield-impacted communities shared their knowledge and ideas about future projects.
“DISUR is proposing that new capital investment in the infrastructure of the petrochemical zone will create an environment that attracts new industry to the region,” said María E. Meléndez Altieri, President of DISUR. “The analysis builds on an exhaustive investigation of both public and private documentation”.
This project is among several of DISUR’s initiatives whose goal is to promote socio-economic development in South Puerto Rico. “We have reviewed hundreds of documents about the public and private infrastructure in the industrial zone of Guayanilla and Peñuelas,” said Jacqueline Rodríguez, Executive Director of DISUR. “This report aligns community and private industry’s future plans for the area with hard reality and the need for multimillion dollar investment to open the way for revitalization of the area. The payoff will be improvements to the area that represent future jobs, clean energy, better management of solid waste, cultural and educational attractions, and security for the area”.
In October 2010, the EPA awarded DISUR $175,000 as part of a pilot project for Area-wide Brownfields Planning. According to María Meléndez Altieri, Mayor of Ponce and also President of DISUR, the non-profit organization was one of 23 across the United States and the only regional consortium in Puerto Rico to receive this type of grant.
The planning project, called PR#127-Guayanilla-Peñuelas, will finish in December 2012, when DISUR submits to the EPA and the community its final plan for the cleanup and reuse of abandoned lands adjacent to the communities of Boca, Indios, Magas, Rufina, Playa and Cedro in Guayanilla; and Tallaboa Poniente, Tallaboa Saliente and Encarnación en Peñuelas.
DISUR is a private nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote and maximize competitiveness and sustainable socioeconomic development of the southern region of Puerto Rico. DISUR also integrates the efforts and resources from the public, private and academic sectors, as well as the citizens who are residents of the southern area in order to achieve a better quality of life. The organization brings together the efforts of fifteen communities in south Puerto Rico: Adjuntas, Arroyo, Coamo, Guánica, Guayama, Guayanilla, Jayuya, Juana Díaz, Patillas, Peñuelas, Ponce, Salinas, Santa Isabel, Villalba, and Yauco. For more information visit www.disur.org , twitter.com/disurPR or facebook.com/disurPR.
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