top
Newswire
Calendar
Features
From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay Feature
Mendocino County Adopts Precautionary Principle
by Britt Bailey (Britt [at] EnvironmentalCommons.org)
Friday Jun 30th, 2006 6:42 PM
On June 27, 2006, the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors adopted
the County's first-ever environmental policy - the Mendocino County
Precautionary Principle Policy.
Mendocino County Supervisors Adopt Precautionary Principle

On June 27, 2006, the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors adopted
the County's first-ever environmental policy - the Mendocino County
Precautionary Principle Policy.

The Precautionary Principle is a guiding framework for decision-making
that anticipates how actions will affect the environment and the health
of future generations. The newly adopted policy will provide an
innovative structure for decision-making. This structure includes the
value of public input, transparency, full-cost and benefit accounting,
and guidance towards alternatives with the least potential impact on
human health and the environment. The Director of Public Health, Carol
Mordhorst, stated "The Precautionary Principle provides a good
opportunity for guidelines for county departments to make decisions that
produce the least harm."

The Precautionary Principle was brought before the County by the
"Mendocino Partnership for the Precautionary Principle," a civic group
assembled in 2005. The first steps included requesting the County study
the Principle's possible implementation. The study period resulted in
the formation of a new policy. According to Environmental Commons'
Director, Britt Bailey, "I am very proud of today's decision. For the
past eight months we have been involved in the study of this Principle
in concert with county officials. We all knew we liked the ideas behind
the Principle but were unsure how the values could be placed into daily
decision-making. In the end, we have built a relationship with our
government—and this relationship has allowed for thoughtful discussion
and an increased understanding of the ways in which we can work together
to protect the beauty and ecology of our county as well as the values of
its residents."

5th District Supervisor, David Colfax, has been supportive of the
County's adoption of this policy from the beginning stages. "I believe
we can do a better job of protecting our environment and human health.
The Precautionary Principle Policy will provide us with a tool to
protect our beautiful County and its future generations," he said.

Implementation of this policy will begin with a pilot project utilizing
two (2) County Departments to be selected by the Executive Office.

In addition to becoming Mendocino's first environmental policy, the
adoption of the Precautionary Principle marks just the second instance
where a county government has decided to adopt the Principle. San
Francisco County adopted the Precautionary Principle in 2003.

Information and the text of the Policy is available at
http://MendoPrecaution.org

Contacts:
Britt Bailey, Director
Environmental Commons
(707) 884-5002, britt [at] environmentalcommons.org

Carol Mordhorst, Director
Mendocino Dept. of Public Health
(707) 472-2777, mordhorc [at] co.mendocino.ca.us

J. David Colfax, 5th District Supervisor,
Mendocino County Board of Supervisors
(707) 463-4221 / (707) 895-3241 colfaxd [at] pacific.net

-end-