FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MARCH 8, 2017
COLUMBUS – Columbus Community Bill of Rights (CCBOR), an organization of local people committed to protecting our water, air, and soil from fracking and its toxic and radioactive waste, will deliver over 10,000 signatures for their initiative to the Columbus City Clerk at City Hall (90 W. Broad Street) this Friday, March 10, 2017, at 1 PM. Asserting the inalienable rights of local communities to pure water, clean air, and safe soil, the Columbus Bill of Rights ordinance will provide our city and its officials with the mandate and the authority to protect Columbus residents and our natural environment from potentially harmful byproducts of the fracking industry.
The Columbus Community Bill of Rights group used the initiative process as outlined in the Columbus City Charter and in full accord with the Ohio State Constitution. The latter guarantees our “inalienable rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty … seeking and obtaining happiness and safety.” It also affirms that “all power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for their equal protection and benefit and they have the right to alter, reform or abolish the same, whenever they deem it necessary.” Article 1, Sections 1 and 2
“Based on research our community members have done on accidents and spills from the drilling industry in other parts of the country affecting people’s water supplies, the people have decided that ‘we deem it necessary’ to alter and reform our law within the City of Columbus in order to protect our water here” said Carolyn Harding, a founding member of CCBOR. “We sincerely hope that city council will realize their role is to protect the health, safety and welfare of their residents above all else and consider the more than 10,000 city residents who agree with us.”
Members of the Columbus Community Bill of Rights group will be present at the event. All have volunteered their efforts to the ordinance petition drive due to concerns over the safety of Central Ohio’s water, soil, and air and the health risks that fracking and its by-products pose to all Central Ohioans.
Given the thirteen injection wells of toxic and radioactive waste in our watershed area, CCBOR member Sandy Bolzenius expects city council members will give prompt and serious consideration to the immediate adoption of the ordinance. “Think Flint,” she said, referring to the lead pipes that poisoned the Michigan city’s water, making it unsafe to consume or use in any way. “I’m most worried about our youngest residents whose brains and neurological systems are still developing. Children are especially vulnerable to the harmful effects of radioactive chemicals.” CCBOR members recognize that once the water and children are poisoned, the messes left behind cannot always be cleaned up through lawsuits and settlements.