Empower Citizens to Take Polluting Chemical Companies to Court

Target: Phil Scott, Vermont Governor

Goal: Protect Vermont citizens from toxic chemicals and hold corporations accountable for pollution.

Citizens of Vermont who have suffered horrific health consequences from pollution may soon have the state’s support behind them, but only if the state’s House of Representatives and governor have their back. Vermont’s Senate passed a bill that will help Vermont citizens with medical expenses and reduced property value due to toxic contamination from nearby companies. In 2016, citizens discovered they had been drinking contaminated drinking water (some had been drinking it for decades), prompting the Senate to pass a bill that would raise polluters’ liability. In addition, it would ensure that citizens have access to court if they fall victim to chemical poisoning. There has been intense opposition to the bill, with lobbyists citing extremely high insurance costs for both homeowners and business, as well unfair liability laws.

The cost of toxic pollution would pass from citizens and taxpayers to companies. This bill would serve justice for those affected by the contaminated drinking waters in Bennington. Although there are still legal wording and technical issues to adjust in the bill, this is the first step in ensuring that citizens are not held responsible for contamination. The companies should be responsible for any and all chemicals that they release.

While many fear that the insurance costs would be too high, those supporting the bill argue that companies should have no reason to worry if they are not actively releasing harmful chemicals. While the bill must still be picked up by the House of Representatives, there is hopeful momentum that the Governor will approve it. Sign the petition below to urge Governor Scott to pass the bill and help victims of toxic pollution find justice.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Scott,

Recently, a bill was passed that places liability on companies for releasing toxic chemicals and harming citizens. In 2016, citizens of Bennington discovered that they had been drinking contaminated water for decades. The company had been releasing pollutants in the air that found their way into the residents’ wells. This is an example of companies holding no responsibility for chemical pollution. The bill would make sure that these residents find justice and that companies comply to pollution rules.

Corporations should not freely pollute air and water while citizens suffer and pay the price. In many cases, residents are inflicted with medical bills and reduced property values, in addition to declining health. Often, they are exposed to chemicals without their knowledge due to lax chemical pollution rules. This bill would ensure that victims of toxic pollution have access to a court proceeding and that companies pay when they do wrong. I hope that you pass this bill to ensure that from now on, at least in Vermont, companies take responsibility for toxic pollution.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Justin Hawk

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309 Signatures

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