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May 6, 2013

Sustainability Bill of Rights; What other areas are doing that Port Townsend Washington Residents Could Do. "corporations and their leadership do not have special privileges or powers under the law that supersede the community’s rights"

If Port Townsend City can enact a LAW to not use Plastic Bags, then surely the City of Port Townsend would care more about ammonia and other toxins in the air and water. And therefore Enact Laws in order to Protect the Citizens of Port Townsend. And NOT simply let the Port Townsend Paper Mill run amok and possibly poison Port Townsend Washington Residents, Water, Soil, Sea Life, Plants and Animals.

Here is a GREAT Example of what  Port Townsend Washington Residents can do to FIGHT BACK. This is not about hippies, environmentalists, loggers, or jobs, this is a matter of are  Port Townsend Washington Residents being poisoned or not. If so then no job or profit of any kind is worth it.

I am a online marketing expert. I make a living online. However I have also owned my own real estate brokerage for over 12 years, and I say there is NO WAY that shutting down the Mill or making the mill obey the law, will affect the economy here. I say the ECONOMY will be stronger, will be more based in Organic Farms, Artists, Writers,  higher learning and many others ways in which will be a truly "Clean Community".

It is a MYTH that Port Townsend Washington will collapse if the Port Townsend Washington Residents FORCE the Port Townsend Paper Mill to obey the law and YOUR Constitutional Rights. 

Based on the Clean Water Act, a 1972, the City of Port Townsend, Jefferson County, could actually enact law to STOP the pollution of the Port Townsend Bay, Port Townsend Air, Water and Soil, BY LAW and constitutional rights.

Below is part of an article from March 14th 2013

"The ordinance, known as the Sustainability Bill of Rights, asserts that corporations and their leadership do not have special privileges or powers under the law that supersede the community’s rights."

"It also requires that the Office of Sustainability and the Environment prepare a report every two years documenting progress on the Sustainable City Plan, an effort begun in the mid-1990s to create benchmarks and goals to make Santa Monica more environmentally friendly, and that City Hall hold a public hearing.

Finally, and perhaps most controversially, some believe that the law gives residents the ability to sue a polluter themselves when one of those rights are violated, without waiting for City Hall or other agencies to get the ball rolling.

The ordinance was, in Council member Kevin McKeown’s words, a fundamental power shift away from business interests and toward the community that has not yet happened in the environmental movement.

“Unrestrained capitalism has extracted the good out of our environment in many, many cases. Here, for the first time, we as a city are taking a stand and saying we’re not going to let that happen anymore,” McKeown said.

The Sustainability Bill of Rights emerged from the Task Force on the Environment — consisting of a group of residents — after the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court decision Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission, which further cemented the rights of corporations as individuals in American law. The court’s decision opened the doors to unlimited campaign spending on behalf of companies.

The law was also a reaction to the spread of fracking, a process of extracting fossil fuels from the ground that many environmentalists say is extremely damaging to the environment, poisoning groundwater and even causing earthquakes.

The City Council approved a resolution in January 2012 backing the concept of the Sustainability Bill of Rights, but the resolution had no teeth. Those in support of the law passed Tuesday feel the City Council’s vote changed that.

“The fact that it establishes individual environmental rights is very important,” said Mark Gold, former president of nonprofit Heal the Bay and associate director of the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability.

Gold has spent much of his career fighting to save the environment from the negative impacts of human habitation on the Santa Monica Bay and other water ecosystems.

His primary tool was the Clean Water Act, a 1972 federal law that regulates quality standards for surface water, but the law lost effectiveness and involved arcane measurements that were difficult for members of the public to understand.

This ordinance finds strength in its return to basic environmental roots, Gold said.

Supporters of the Sustainability Bill of Rights believe that the law gives them the ability to sue polluters in court if City Hall does not do so. That could include what some call  Santa Monica’s “groundwater wars,” with over a decade spent in court to get companies to clean up dangerous chemicals that had leached into the groundwater through buried gasoline storage tanks.

“That legal standing did not exist before,” said Cris Gutierrez, a member of the Task Force on the Environment.

It was carefully-crafted to prevent abuse, and cannot be used to protect every street tree or stop every development in the city, Gold said.

“The ability of an individual to sue the city because they don’t like a development approval, that’s not in there,” Gold said."

Source of this Valuable Information

The Rights of Port Townsend Paper Mill and their investors, DO NOT exceed the rights of the Port Townsend Residents to clean air and clean water. 

THE Community has the POWER not INDUSTRY, not Corporations that are acting outside of the Law and our Constitutional Rights.

More information at 

Sustainability Bill of Rights,  Task Force on the Environment, U.S. Supreme Court decision Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission, UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability,