Candidates’ Reply to Survey

Adam Papin

1. Do you believe groundwater is a public resource that should not be sold for profit?
YES __X________________ NO __________________
Comment: After careful deliberation and study of relevant case law from the jurisdictions within the aquifer’s boundaries, I believe that no one individual has property rights to the water under his or her property. A property owner only has rights to “reasonably use” such
water. Selling water for profit would surely violate the “reasonable use” doctrine that is used as the legal standard. Unfortunately, a claim of “unreasonable use” can only be made after the damage has been done, and the burden of proof rests with claimant.
We must work towards a better and more preemptive definition of reasonable use legislatively that protects all property owners’ rights to “reasonably use” the water under their land. Selling water to entities outside the aquifers boundaries jeopardizes those rights
by threatening local water tables.

2. Do you agree that large water withdrawals from the Michindoh aquifer to locations outside the aquifer boundaries should be prohibited?
YES ______X____________ NO __________________
Comment: Water is only going to become more valuable in the future. We already see what drought is doing in regions of the United States. Western states are lining up to get access to the Great Lakes watershed. Thankfully, we have the Great Lakes compact to
protect it.
If we allow the export of the Michindoh aquifer’s water to regional areas, we will set a dangerous precedent that our water is for sale nationally or globally. Such exports would open a pandora’s box we would not be able to close, and the risk of doing permanent
damage to our water tables through such sales must be prevented.

3. Should local control of aquifers be allowed in state law?
YES _____X_____________ NO __________________
Comment: Home Rule is one of the most important concepts relating to governance in the State of Ohio. It’s my belief that whenever local solutions and control can best address
challenges affecting local jurisdictions, local citizens should be trusted with self-government.  This extends to the management of the Michindoh Aquifer.

4. Would you vote to direct public funds to local projects such as community drinking water infrastructure and groundwater monitoring?
YES _____X_____________ NO __________________
Comment: Any plans to mandate groundwater monitoring must be funded by the state. As it stands, the state legislature continually shackles local governments with the burden of enforcing regulations without offering financial assistance to conduct such monitoring.
Additionally, Ohio’s Rainy-Day Fund is at nearly $2.7 billion. The economy is strong right now, yet it’s raining in communities across the state. We need an umbrella, and what better time to utilize the fund than when Ohio’s strengthening economy would allow us to more easily replace it. Let’s use the Rainy Day Fund to improve water infrastructure across the state.

5. If elected, what would you do to protect the Michindoh aquifer?
In short, I will do whatever it takes. Immediately, I will reach out to elected officials from the Toledo area and lobby them to reach a local solution between the City of Toledo and her suburbs. Additionally, I will engage with colleagues in Indiana and Michigan, and federal lawmakers from each state to develop a solution that protects the aquifer in a way that can survive legal challenges in each separate jurisdiction.
Second, I will introduce legislation appropriating funds to support the necessary upgrades to Toledo’s water infrastructure, so water rates can be reduced.
Finally, we must work towards a better and more preemptive definition of reasonable use legislatively that protects all property owners’ rights to “reasonably use” the water under their land.

Aden Baker

1. Do you believe groundwater is a public resource that should not be sold for profit?
YES ______X____________ NO __________________
Comment:  Looking at the recharge rate of these aquifers, the ability to buy and sell the water within sets a dangerous precedent. I’d prefer to pro-actively avoid depletion.

2. Do you agree that large water withdrawals from the Michindoh aquifer to locations outside the aquifer boundaries should be prohibited?
YES _______X___________ NO __________________
Comment: Absolutely. Again, a dangerous precedent.

3. Should state law provide for local control and management of aquifers?
YES _______X___________ NO __________________
Comment: Local control of resources has long been a staple of my campaign. Local governments know better than state government.

4. Would you vote to direct public funds to local projects such as community drinking water infrastructure and groundwater monitoring?
YES _______X___________ NO __________________
Comment: I’ve spoken from the beginning of this campaign about the need to re-invest money into the Local Government Fund, which would certainly allow for more funding to be allocated to projects such as these.

5. If elected, what would you do to protect the Michindoh aquifer?
I would fight to see it gain “sole-source” status for the region, which I believe would give it greater protection
than what it receives now. I’d also empower local governments like the vast majority that have come out
against this plan to drill into the aquifer to make decisions about their drinking water and give them the
resources to respond.

Brian Davis

To further clarify the opening statement of this questionnaire – please understand that the “oversight of groundwater” laws are defined under the Ohio Revised Code. These laws were put in place by previous lawmakers decades ago. As a local elected official it
is my responsibility as the Peoples representative to use my relationships and contacts with State Government to affect a change that would ultimately lead to the protection of our aquifer.

1. Do you believe groundwater is a public resource that should not be sold for profit?
YES
My belief is that the water should not be exported outside the boundaries of the aquifer under any circumstance.

2. Do you agree that large water withdrawals from the Michindoh aquifer to locations outside the aquifer boundaries should be prohibited?
YES  The Michindoh aquifer should enjoy the same rights as are found in the Great Lakes Compact.

3. Should State Law provide for local control and management of aquifers?
YES
I believe State Law should assign the same rules as contained in the Great Lakes Compact. Local Government should then push monitoring of wells to better understand the health of the aquifer.

4. Would you vote to direct public funds to local projects such as community drinking water infrastructure and groundwater monitoring?
YES

5. If elected, what would you do to protect the Michindoh aquifer?
As an elected official, I continue to work with all the affected counties of the aquifer, local groups, local and state elected officials, and state agencies to seek a solution via the legislative process for the purpose of the protection of our aquifer.

Janet Breneman

1. Do you believe that groundwater is a resource that should not be sold for profit?   YES

2. Do you agree that large water withdrawals from the Michindoh aquifer to locations outside the boundaries of the aquifer should be prohibited?    YES

3. Should state law provide for local control and management of aquifers?     YES

4. Would you vote to direct public funds to local projects such as community drinking water infrastructure and groundwater monitoring?   YES

5. If elected, what would you do to protect the Michindoh aquifer?

Introduce a bill to protect aquifer from being sold privately outside the aquifer boundaries.

Scott Lirot

1. Do you believe that groundwater is a public resource that should not be sold for profit?

YES   I do believe that groundwater is a public resource.  I am also in favor of reasonable economic development.  For example, what if a large brewery would want to locate in Williams County?  They will want to use groundwater.  Now if we would have a test that would prove ample water is available to support their operations, without harming our wells or just an important our streams and rivers (which would be the first to show the effects of pulling too much water from the aquifer) then I would not oppose that type of business.  In my opinion, for instance, the 2 small brewery’s, that operate, in Williams county.  I do not believe they use more water than the aquifer can handle.  The science of the aquifer must being NOW.

2. Do you agree that large water withdrawals from the Michindoh aquifer to locations outside the aquifer boundaries should be prohibited?

YES  I do not support any plan that involves pumping water from our aquifer to places outside of the aquifer boundaries.

3. Should state law provide for local control and management of aquifers?

YES  State Law would be a great place to start, but because the Michindoh covers 3 states I also believe this should be a federal issue.

This is a bigger issue for us than the Great Lakes Compact, which stops water from the Great Lakes from pumping out of the great lakes watershed.  Pumping our water east does not take it from the watershed.  That makes the dynamics of this issue different in many ways.  What we all must understand is there is certainly a limit of water that can be removed.  We will lose the quality of life in the aquifer area; such as fresh water for our streams and rivers.  I believe the testing should be done there FIRST.  If we lose the top pressure from the aquifer, the first negative impact will be on our streams and rivers.  When our wildlife dies off the future of our grandchildren’s life style will be changed for the worse.  Eventually our wells will dry up.

4. Would you vote to direct public funds to local projects such as community drinking water infrastructure and groundwater monitoring?

YES   I believe we already use public funds to build community drinking water infrastructure.  I absolutely would be in favor of testing and monitoring of groundwater and surface water.  If we could start surface water testing program, that could pinpoint where the pollution comes from in our streams.  Maybe then we could truly figure out the Lake Erie problem.  That in return would help cities like Toledo have safer drinking water.

5. If elected, what would you do to protect the Michindoh aquifer?

If I were elected county Commissioner, I will take the lead in the fight to stop this sort of plan from happening.  Williams County Commissioners must take the lead in this battle.  We have everything to lose and nothing to gain by letting water get pumped from our Aquifer.  I will not let the people who take Campaign contributions such as from AOP decide the future of my grandchildren or YOURS!

 

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