I speak for the Michindoh Aquifer and the need to protect it. The proposed AquaBounty project in Pioneer will be using up to 5.25 million gallons of our water each day. Withdrawing this amount from our aquifer will affect the aquifer’s ability to regenerate on a sustainable level and it will be placed at risk of depletion. This amazing natural source of clean water has not only provided life to humans, but also to aquatic life, avian life, insect life and plant life. AquaBounty does not intend to recycle the water because of the expense, but instead the treated water will be dumped into the St. Joseph River. How will this massive amount of dumping affect the life in and along the river? No one can really be certain.
When AquaBounty first proposed the withdrawal of 3 million gallons of water each day, over 1,200 comments were submitted in opposition to the project, with only 15 in favor. Now AquaBounty is asking to withdraw up to 5.25 million gallons of water daily. So, why are our voices not being listened to? Why do our county commissioners and representatives not represent us? Who really is benefiting from this project, and who will be the big losers? I speak because remaining silent is a form of cooperation with those who want to exploit and extract for personal gain, at the expense of so many.
Governor DeWine’s H2Ohio Initiative is spending millions of dollars of our taxpayer money to clean up our water in Ohio, so why should a company be allowed to use our valuable underground aquifer and then dump this massive amount of surface water back into the environment daily? Once one company is allowed to do this, precedents will be set.
Look what is happening out West! Do we want to be next? If you are concerned about our Aquifer, please make your voice heard and demand that our representatives listen. Call and write your representatives. A public comment period is open through Sept. 16. Submit comments to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources online at https://bit.ly/3AhOM0W or write to Bradley Lodge, ODNR Division of Water Resources, 2045 Morse Road, Building B-3, Columbus, OH 43229. Ask for a public hearing with the ODNR. Attend the EPA AquaBounty public hearing on Sept. 12 at 6 p.m. at the North Central Local High School gym in Pioneer. We need to present a massive united front!
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