Clean Air ordinance on Nov. 3 ballot
On November 3rd, the people of Alachua County will have the opportunity to vote on the Clean Air Ordinance. This ballot initiative would prevent "major" pollution sources from locating here in Alachua County. Using emission level caps for a number of pollutants, the Clean Air Ordinance will promote a better atmosphere for both breathing and business in our community. A yes vote for the Clean Air Ordinance would limit the pollutants that industries such as the cement plant are able to belch into our air.
The Clean Air Ordinance was initiated in response to the previous county commission's refusal to acknowledge, and act on, the public's desire to prevent the further deterioration of our air quality. When government does not respond to the will of the people, the people must act. The citizens ballot initiative is one vehicle we can use. Over 9,000 registered voters signed petitions to place this ordinance on the ballot. The people of this county have a tremendous stake in seeing this ordinance passed.
The Clean Air Ordinance is an important step for the citizenry of this county to regain control of their environmental standards from the influence of rich and powerful special interests. The opposition to the Clean Air Ordinance has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to sway voters against the ordinance. It's a battle between the well-financed special interests and the people concerned with the health and welfare of their community.
Lately big money has bought lots of TV time to try to confuse and mislead the public. The scare tactics being used to elicit support from the agricultural community are groundless. A field or a forest cannot be defined as a "facility". A blade of grass or a longleaf pine cannot be defined as an "emission unit". Even the County's Director of Environmental Protection, who will have to implement the ordinance, has stated he did not believe that it pertained to agricultural burning. More and more money will be spent in a similar manner to try to sway the public. It will not work. The people of this community can see through it. The message is simple, if you want clean air then vote YES for the Clean Air Ordinance . By voting YES for Clean Air, we can send a clear message to the next county commission that our air quality is important. A community where a healthy environment is important is more attractive to clean businesses.
The people initiated this ordinance and the people will see it passed. Within the last week dozens of citizens have gotten in touch with the Clean Air Campaign to find out what they can do to help. The Clean Air Campaign is truly a county-wide grassroots organization. While money motivates the opposition, care and concern for the health of the county has encouraged many people to volunteer to fight for clean air.
If you would like to help, please call Anne at 371-6027. For more information, you can visit the website www.alachuacleanair.com or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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