100-year-old law curbs nonprofit relief efforts for Puerto Rico

Posted: Updated:
BROOKLYN HEIGHTS -

Members of local nonprofits have found they are unable to help ship relief to Puerto Rico due to a 100-year-old law.

After obtaining a ship donated by Greenpeace for use sending supplies down to Puerto Rico, a collective from Brooklyn has been stifled by the Jones Act, a nearly 100-year-old law that says only American ships can travel between U.S. ports to drop off goods and people.

Their newly acquired ship is directly affected by that law because it is from the Netherlands.

President Donald Trump temporarily waived the Jones Act in the wake of Hurricane Maria, but the waiver has since expired.

Climate Justice Alliance co-chairwoman Elizabeth Yeampierre has condemned the federal government in halting their relief efforts.

"The federal government doesn't want to help us, but isn't allowing anyone to help us either," says Yeampierre.

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