Posted Jan 31, 2019 at 7:00 PMUpdated
To the Editor:
It is clear that people in Exeter are committed to protecting our natural environment. However, under our current system of government, there is no way for residents to oppose corporate projects that could be harmful to the health, safety and welfare of people and our ecosystems.
A Rights Based Ordinance (RBO) would correct this. It is a binding, local law that establishes a bill of rights that includes the right to a healthy climate, the right to clean air, water and soil, the right of ecosystems to exist and flourish and the right of self-government.
This RBO is a tool used by communities to assert their rights when confronted by projects that may be protected by state and federal permits. It allows for community enforcement of the law as affirmed in the N.H. State Constitution’s Bill of Rights. A group of Exeter citizens have brought forth this petition with support from the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF), a national organization committed to fighting for the community and environmental rights since 1995. Over 200 towns across the country have passed similar RBO’s including 11 here in New Hampshire.
I urge you to come to the town deliberative session on Feb. 2 to learn more about this citizens petition and then to vote “yes” on warrant Article 30 on March 12.
Citizen Action for Exeter’s Environment