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I didn't see any threads about this, so I'll start one here. Remember Toledo telling people not to drink the city water because of toxic algae back in 2014?

Toledo voters passed (on a 9% voter turnout) a bill of rights that grants legal personhood to Lake Erie.

It could lead to situations where a polluter is brought to court where a judge would decide what state or local laws they violated. The “harmer” of the lake might then have to pay large amounts to the local city or county for cleanup costs and/or prevention programs. It also could include criminal penalties and loss of business permits and operating licenses for violators. The backers of this bill say the real benefit will be to have a threat in place that will reduce pollution. And while the language is specific to Toledo, it broadly defined Lake Erie to include the entire body of water, sub ecosystems and watershed.

“We’ve been using the same laws for decades to try and protect Lake Erie. They’re clearly not working,” said Toledoans for Safe Water activist Markie Miller. “Beginning today, with this historic vote, the people of Toledo and our allies are ushering in a new era of environmental rights by securing the rights of the Great Lake Erie.”


Another take on it:

What does it all mean? The LEBOR initiative is similar to many other community rights proposals that seek to establish rights of nature that community members can protect through legal action. Such efforts have a bad track record in courts nationwide. Courts have consistently determined that the provisions conflict with longstanding constitutional principles that address the relationship between federal, state and local governments; state and local governments cannot eliminate federal rights and local governments cannot deny rights granted by the state. Community rights initiatives also conflict with legal precedent established by the U.S. Supreme Court that guarantees corporate entities constitutional rights. Finally, the State of Ohio holds rights in Lake Erie that Toledo and its residents do not have legal authority to claim. Based upon these legal precedents, it is likely that an Ohio court would not enforce or uphold a LEBOR action.

Much more detail here:
https://farmoffice.osu.edu/sites/aglaw/files/site-library/Lake Erie Bill of Rights.pdf

Note, this applies to the entire Erie watershed including all tributaries, not just the lake itself.

So, what do you guys think of this? I can understand a case for being on either side of this. It could be good to have the ability to call any polluting business or farm operation or feedlot into court. On the other hand, it might allow anyone with any agenda to swing a legal sledgehammer that would put businesses into court for self-defense at great cost.

Maybe, as the backers say, the mere threat of legal action will prompt polluters to clean up their act, and many say they already are.

Let's see how this shakes out after whatever appeals, etc., and someone tries to use it to sue some operation.

BTW the algae problem is not unique to Erie. Columbus has had similar problems with algae, mainly in Hoover (which is the main water supply).They can tinker with the intakes and draw from different levels in the reservoir, so they never got to the point of having to issue warnings.
 

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I think it's one of the worst ideas i've heard of. Not so much as to protecting the big lake, but for what potential OTHER entities may try to follow this example. What if they applied this to our hunting woods or worse yet, the agracultural community as a whole?
When you allow whiners and crybabies to get their way, it only blossoms into a totally misbehaving entity. Just look at some of todays kids and you get an idea of what i mean.
 

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I think there was a thread started, something like "Lake Erie is a Person" or something like that...did a quick search but didn't locate it, might have been locked or removed...
 

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(I'm the OP) This reminds me of the Supreme Court decision Citizens' United which holds that corporations are persons so they have unlimited free speech.
 

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(I'm the OP) This reminds me of the Supreme Court decision Citizens' United which holds that corporations are persons so they have unlimited free speech.
If corporations are, then our lakes and rivers certainly are.
 

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The previous thread was removed because of politics... Don't be that guy who makes this political.

A large farm outfit has already filed suit challenging this.
 

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Whatever you do, don't pee over the side of the boat.
 

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Well if there's one political thing I may point out here, this shows how a voter turnout of only 9% allows a motivated few to get the results they want, when the opposition doesn't get out and vote.

Maybe the opposition thought this was crazy and maybe they were right, but ignoring something does not make it go away.
 

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There were only 2 items on the ballot. The group that got this on the ballot tried multiple times before succeeding. I'm sure they chose Toledo precisely because of voter apathy.
 
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The previous thread was removed because of politics... Don't be that guy who makes this political.

A large farm outfit has already filed suit challenging this.
Uh,, the issue is a political one. Very political.
Much like another worldwide issue we all know about.
 

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(I'm the OP) This reminds me of the Supreme Court decision Citizens' United which holds that corporations are persons so they have unlimited free speech.
If corporations are, then our lakes and rivers certainly are.
SIGH! Corporations are "groups" of persons, so they can be defined as persons. Lakes and rivers are NOT persons, even in the most gigantic stretch of the imagination!
 
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SIGH! Corporations are "groups" of persons, so they can be defined as persons. Lakes and rivers are NOT persons, even in the most gigantic stretch of the imagination!
OK, then when a corporation commits a serious crime,, which of those "groups of persons" goes to jail? None of them do because a corporation is not a person and actually only exists on paper.
A lake or river on the other hand is arguably a living entity that can be physically effected.

Personally I think either is silly but of the two, I would argue that a river, lake, or ocean has the better claim.
 

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Uh,, the issue is a political one. Very political.
Much like another worldwide issue we all know about.
It is political, I was informed by the U.S. Supreme court, that issues involving land, water and other types of property falls under the Political Perview. My issue was preserving an area of wetlands, which is considered a Federal environment. These types of issues are often seen as political meandering.
 

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It is political, I was informed by the U.S. Supreme court, that issues involving land, water and other types of property falls under the Political Perview. My issue was preserving an area of wetlands, which is considered a Federal environment. These types of issues are often seen as political meandering.
None of it should be political. Most of it should be common sense and science should cover the rest.
There should be no need to declare a body of water to be a person in order to protect it.
We should not need a law(s) to forestall us fouling our own nest And yet, time and time again, here we are.
 

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While Ohio is a home rule state the description of the bill suggests the Toledo law extends well beyond the city’s jurisdiction into the state’s purview and perhaps even international. I’m no judge but gut says this gets overturned by the courts.
 

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OK, then when a corporation commits a serious crime,, which of those "groups of persons" goes to jail? None of them do because a corporation is not a person and actually only exists on paper.
A lake or river on the other hand is arguably a living entity that can be physically effected.

Personally I think either is silly but of the two, I would argue that a river, lake, or ocean has the better claim.
Uh, didn't Bernie Madoff go to prison? Didn't Martha Stewart go to prison? They were both heads of corporations. You're off the beam on this one with Occupy Wall Street ideas. Consider the etymology of the word, corporation. It derives from the Latin "corpus", which means "body". Consider the phrases "corporal punishment", Corpus Christi (the body of Christ). Also "Corpus delicti" (body of the crime).

I'm not for polluting waterways, either river or lakes, but there are proper ways to go about things. And if the politicians don't do a good job, in your eyes, then work for, and elect, new ones! There's been a gang of radicals attempting to enact a "bill of rights" here in Youngstown for at least 6 or 7 years for things that have never occurred here. It's gone down to defeat by ever increasing margins every year. It keep coming back because of outside money! You have to wonder what they're trying to control!

FWIW, I'm suspicious of anything labeled as a "bill of rights" that refers to anything other than the first ten amendments to the Constitution!
 

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Uh, didn't Bernie Madoff go to prison? Didn't Martha Stewart go to prison? They were both heads of corporations. You're off the beam on this one with Occupy Wall Street ideas. Consider the etymology of the word, corporation. It derives from the Latin "corpus", which means "body". Consider the phrases "corporal punishment", Corpus Christi (the body of Christ). Also "Corpus delicti" (body of the crime).

I'm not for polluting waterways, either river or lakes, but there are proper ways to go about things. And if the politicians don't do a good job, in your eyes, then work for, and elect, new ones! There's been a gang of radicals attempting to enact a "bill of rights" here in Youngstown for at least 6 or 7 years for things that have never occurred here. It's gone down to defeat by ever increasing margins every year. It keep coming back because of outside money! You have to wonder what they're trying to control!

FWIW, I'm suspicious of anything labeled as a "bill of rights" that refers to anything other than the first ten amendments to the Constitution!

Madoff, Stewart? Oh pleeze, you should know better. And I suspect that you do.

Corporations are not a person and that is not "Occupy Wall Street", that is just common sense.
 
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