Saying No to Coal in the Dominican Republic

ELAW Bulletin

Euren Cuevas Medina meets the press.

A massive coal-fired power plant in Punta Catalina, Dominican Republic, threatens air quality, ecosystems, and the health of nearby communities.

ELAW partners at Instituto de Abogados para la Proteccion del Medio Ambiente (INSAPROMA) are working with ELAW to protect communities and shelve the project.

"The court must suspend plans for the coal plant and order conversion to natural gas," says Euren Cuevas Medina, INSAPROMA Executive Director.  "Our national development strategy prohibits installation of coal-fired plants."

Pedro León Gutiérrez, ELAW attorney, analyzed INSAPROMA's complaint and provided cases from around the world to help argue the coal plant's EIA is legally defective and the emissions will violate the rights of local communities to a healthy environment.

International energy experts call the Dominican Republic's $2 billion investment in coal a "historic mistake," but communities are up against powerful forces driving the proposed plant, including international financing by Brazil's state-owned development bank, BNDES

INSAPROMA filed with the court a report authored by ELAW Staff Scientist Mark Chernaik showing that it would be technically and economically feasible for the new power plant to use natural gas instead of coal, and if it did so, then hundreds of millions of dollars in damages each year to the earth's climate and to the health of local communities would be avoided.

Mark's collaboration with INSAPROMA is making news in the Dominican Republic press, including reports in: Telenoticias, Hoy, El Nacionale, Diario Al Instante, and Diario Hispaniola.

Coal is a global menace and we must win local battles to defeat coal.

Building a coal plant at Punta Catalina will lock the Dominican Republic into years of mining and burning coal, with devastating impacts to air quality and the climate.  If we can defeat proposed projects like Punta Catalina and expose the true cost of coal, other energy sources will make coal obsolete.

"Together with the Committee Against Climate Change, I thank ELAW for its scientific and legal support," says Euren.

The case will continue on March 7.  We will keep you posted on our progress.


If you would like more information on ELAW's work to protect the climate, please contact:

Maggie Keenan
ELAW Communications Director

P.S.  Learn more about our work and how you can support ELAW by visiting our website, Facebook, and Twitter.