The Bryan Times,

Many of us in Williams County find it offensive that Ed Kidston and his company, Artesian of Pioneer, believe they have the right to pump the fresh water from the Michindoh Aquifer for their own personal profit. Despite the overwhelming opposition to this plan by the citizens of Williams County, do not look to the Republican Party to protect our interests.

For years, the Republican Party has told us that “government regulations” are strangling the ability of businesses to operate. But ask yourself: do you object to regulations that ensure that the water we drink is safe? Is it offensive that manufacturers are no longer able to dump toxic chemicals into our waterways? Do you want government oversight that ensures our workplaces are not unreasonably dangerous? Perhaps we can disagree as to the proper extent of government regulation, but we all can agree that some degree of government regulation is in our best interests.

In most states in the west, the public as a whole owns the water and the state is the trustee. Stated another way, the state has a non-proprietary, regulatory interest in groundwater. A landowner has a proprietary right to use the water, rather than ownership of the water itself. A long and detailed history on the regulation of the use of water has been developed to benefit everyone.

The Ohio executive branch (Governor DeWine), and both branches of Ohio’s general assembly (the Senate and the House of Representatives) are controlled by Republicans. The notion that Republicans will enact legislation that limits the interests of their masters: business, in favor of ordinary citizens in Williams County is a joke. To date not a bit of legislation has been introduced by either Sen. Rob McColley or Rep. Jim Hoops to protect our aquifer. Nor will there ever be.

We are getting exactly what we elected as to protecting our aquifer. Just ask the folks in Fulton County that objected to a 36 inch high pressure natural gas line running within feet of their homes; or Seneca County residences and their 591 foot tall wind turbines; or people in Harrison County whose drinking water is affected by fracking.

Don’t trust Republicans to protect our water.

John Engler

Bryan

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