Supporting Precautionary Principle Ordinance sign now

Recognizing that:

1. The US has signed the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, which states: In order to protect the environment, the precautionary approach shall be widely applied by States according to their capabilities;

2. Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation;

3. Current environmental regulations are primarily aimed at controlling pollution rather than using primary preventive measures to avoid the use, production, or release of toxic materials;

4. Development of enterprises, projects, technologies, products, and substances, that may adversely affect public health, proceeds through initiatives that may or may not have considered a range of safer alternatives;

5. Many of these enterprises, projects, technologies, products, and substances are considered safe until proven harmful;

6. Public health decisions must often be made in the absence of scientific certainty, or in the absence of perfect information;
Some industries engaged in the production, release, or distribution of potentially hazardous products and processes use their influence to delay preventive action, arguing that the immediate expense of redesign to achieve pollution prevention is unwarranted, lacking scientific certainty about harmful health effects;

7. Fetuses, children, and all developing organisms are often more susceptible to environmental contaminants than adults, and that agency policies and decisions often fail to reflect this unique susceptibility;

8. Proof of cause and effect relationships is often difficult to establish because of non-specificity of health effects, long latent periods, subtle changes in function that are difficult to detect without resource-intensive studies, and complex interactions of variables that contribute to adverse health effects;

9. Some lack of scientific certainty is irresolvable by more data collection; that some residual lack of scientific certainty is actually the result of indeterminacy due to multiple factors interacting in complex systems or due to ignorance about what questions to ask or what effects to look for; and

10. Children and other sensitive populations are, therefore, in particular need of protection from environmentally related hazards.

Therefore:
We the undersigned support an ordinance encoding the Precautionary Principle.

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Kevin HartmanBy:
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