To the Editor:
Clean water, air, and soil are essential for all living things; those that are sentient and those that are not.
The major causes of environmental pollution are the combustion of fossil fuels, agricultural waste from fertilizers and pesticides, and nuclear emissions from uranium mining and storage of waste. We have paid a high and potentially irreversible price for all of our industrial progress. The price has been realized at the cost of our health and the increasing rate of extinction of many animals, flora, and fauna.
When it comes to water, energy, food, and waste - all major components of our everyday lives - we find ourselves denied access to any real local decision-making authority over protecting human health and safety or that of the natural environments in our communities. Sure, the state and federal government create regulations around industrial activities, but what can we do when the state and federal government get it wrong?
I’ve been following the stories about PFAS contamination from the Coakley Landfill, St.Gobain, and the application of human waste (sludge) on commercial farmland. It is incredibly alarming that these industrial activities are all legally allowable and have caused so much harm with the direct approval and legal support from the state and the federal government.
There are times when no allowable amounts of a contaminate are acceptable because they cause such serious and irreversible harm to people and natural environments. PFAS are “forever chemicals” that take more years to leave our bodies and the environment than we are likely to live out on this earth. We know these chemicals cause cancers and yet their use is made legal by the government that is supposed to protect its citizens from such commercial and industrial harms.
Join the growing number of communities that are taking direct action, through local lawmaking, to enumerate their right to protect the health and safety of all residents and ecosystems from industrial harms and governmental interference with Rights-Based Ordinances (RBOs). These local laws legalize rights to clean air, water, and soil along with recognizing our right to make local governing decisions that raise local levels of protection within our communities above standards determined at the state and federal levels of government. Learn more at www.nhcommunityrights.org or contact the NH Community Rights Network at firstname.lastname@example.org.
President of New Hampshire Community Rights Network