Puerto Rico coast still ruled by 1886 law

AP News
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Posted: Jul 07, 2011 12:51 PM
Puerto Rico coast still ruled by 1886 law

A Spanish law crafted in 1886 still governs development along Puerto Rico's sprawling coastline and activists are pushing for a measure that would help better protect the environment.

A bill that addresses their concerns has been stuck in the legislature since 2009 even as complaints about limited access to public beaches and construction in environmentally delicate areas have increased.

The 125-year-old law was decreed by Spain at a time when it was promoting settlements along the 700-mile-long (1,130-kilometer) coast and there were few concerns about the environment.

Attorney Miguel Sarriera says the law is vague, giving officials wide latitude to approve or deny projects.