Saturday, August 30, 2014

Not In My Backyard

What would you do if someone tries to build something inside your property? How would you react if you are asked to give up some of your property because is for the benefit our society? Who will determine what is the benefit for society when your property is used in ways that you don't like? How can be assessed the damage to your property by the use of it for common good?
The Oregonian on Friday August 29th, 2014 has an article that addresses this questions. For more information click here.
Landowner Bill Gow is facing 'eminent domain' as a canadian oil pipeline company has obtained the rights to bury a 36-inch diameter high-pressure pipeline through his land. Eminent domain is the lawful act through which a government can forceful purchase land from private owners for use in a way that has communal value. That would be the case of constructing new roads, bridges, or infrastructure that will benefit the whole community. In this case the land will be used by a privately own company that claims that the jobs created will benefit the whole community.
Where would you draw the line? How can we assess the benefit of a community when benefiting a private enterprise?

There is another aspect of 'not in my backyard'. This one is related to how laws and regulations are applied to industries that create a lot of jobs but at the same time externalizing some to the costs caused by pollution. Take Title V of the Clean Air Act. that sets the need for industries to get a permit to pollute.
For those living in the Hillsboro OR neighborhood what is now happening with the new Intel D1X plant being build relates to the same question of having an industry that supports the local economy and uses resources human and environmental in its activities. You have to read Luke Hammill who has been reporting news related to Hillsboro OR to see how Intel may benefit by Supreme Court ruling
that will allow it not the have to get a Title 5 CAA permit for its emissions of fluoride for which it was fined $143,000 this year.

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