Local December 16, 2013 | 2:39 pm

Dominican Republic hellhole recovers its ‘paradise’ status

Santo Domingo.- A prominent think tank on Friday said itpulled a sector of the town of Haina from its list of the planet’s mostpolluted sites, after an environmental cleanup removed old batteries from thesoils at the MetaloXsa plant, at Paraiso de Dios.

The Blacksmith Institute had assigned the village thedubious distinction from the pollution with heavy metals caused by thediscarded batteries.

The Haina and South Region Industries Association (lAEIHaina) and theEnvironment Ministry made the announcement in a press conference in Haina, wherethey read a letter from Blacksmith senior program director Bret Ericson, at theAssociation’s request. "Let me inform you that thanks to the remediation workcarried out in 2010 at the MetaloXsa site…, this place is no longer within thelist of the world’s most polluted places, since it ceased to be a toxic threatto the population."

Paraiso de Dios was included among the most pollutedplaces in the world in 2007, due to the battery plant’s toxins which sickened teinhabitants of the area.

The uproar from the report prompted environment and localauthorities to requite Inter-American Development Bank and Blacksmith funding foran environmental cleaning up with community volunteers, who today enjoy a greenspace for children and adults as well.

In the letter Blacksmith notes that Paraiso de Dios"is the only place that has been on the list and whose successfulremediation has made it a safe zone for nearby residents."

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