Sunday, September 25, 2011

Humanitarian Governmental Concept: "Industrial Effects Catastrophe Fund"

Hello All,

This concept is more of a bailout hazard fund for the ordinary citizen subjected to industrial pollutants on a discriminatory basis. By discrimination it can be either direct Environmental Racism, which large swaths of urban Afro-American populations have systematically been subjected to within America for decades. Or any American of whatever creed or social mobility having the misfortune of having lived near an industrial facility with poor quality control standards. At least in terms of leeching toxic environmental pollutants into nearby residential districts and local water sheds.

Here in Florida my home State we have a "Hurricane Catastrophe Fund" known as the "Hurricane Cat Fund". Taking this as a governmental funding mechanism in such a State wide trust fund held and maintained for the public trust of all Floridians. I'm proposing a similar mechanism across all of America on a Federal level in partnerships with the States and Territories. Be it operated by Federal / State agencies of Environmental Protection in conjunction with Federal Law Enforcement agencies. Be it the FBI or expand the mission mandates of environmental law enforcement agents that guard our National and State parks. Yes, I'm first to admit that such environmental law enforcement agencies be it Federal or State levels are treated as the third wheel in resources. Be it in personnel numbers or funding on a whole basis. Here in Florida we have only a couple hundred law enforcement agents covering thousands of miles of our peninsula wilderness. I'm not advocating pulling out such limited resources already in place for our natural wonders. Just to create a new law enforcement department within the overall investigative arm of such an environmental protection agency.

The "Industrial Effects Catastrophe Fund" will be funded by both private industry and joint Federal / State dollars. In order to safeguard residential areas from nearby polluting industrial facilities. Be they harming the air, land, and especially water quality of those neighborhoods. Industry Lobbyists will be forbidden from participating on any oversight committees or panels of such a catastrophe fund. In order to keep the wolves out of the hen house for a period of a decade. So any present day industry lobbyist of whatever stripe can not nor should not have authority for a period of 10 years time. In regards to oversight jurisdiction since it becomes a "Poison Pill" all its own if they mettle in such affairs. The burden of proof will be shifted onto private Industry and not on the ordinary citizen in terms of exposure to toxic pollutants. Such a policy written into law should keep such a legal Juris prudence in perspective at all times.

Citizens petitioning for aid from such a catastrophe fund will receive access to both a case manager and legal counsel. Such staff provided will be funded on an administrative basis out of such a catastrophe fund. Environmental law enforcement agents will only receive a portion of their overall funding for their department handling such a case load. In terms of investigative faculties and subpoena powers in getting access to records be it the Federal or State level Attorney Generals. Any private legal counsel hired by citizens petitioning for aid from the "Industrial Effects Catastrophe Fund". Will have their legal fees capped at a certain reasonable rate. Any bureaucracy created will not forbid the ordinary citizen from receiving aid in terms to a petitioning application process. Which means legal hardship loop holes will not become a barrier due to political mind games by the administrators of such a catastrophe fund.

Any neighborhoods or limited residential areas that must be condemned due to environmental industrial toxic degradations. Will need to go through Federal, State, and local eminent public domain ordinances. Where the citizenry affected will either be relocated at cost by the offending corporation or by the catastrophe fund. Or just directly buying out their residences at pre-disaster real estate market prices.

The environmental law enforcement agency department overseeing protection of the public trust. Will pursue any corrupt appointed or elected governmental officer on any level be it local, State, or Federal. If corporate kickback schemes of bribery or unfair best practices in attracting bids of an industrial facility to a region. Be they for decades past to the present are discovered by environmental law enforcement. Than the "20 / 20 Rule" will apply for any living or deceased estate of a present to former governmental officer. The "20 / 20 Rule" means that for 20 years time at 20% the estate of a corrupt appointed or elected official will be garnished. Any monies / assets collected will go directly into the "Industrial Effects Catastrophe Fund" as a punishment for the severity of the crime committed upon the local citizenry. If undo hardship is created that isn't frivolous in nature to the estate of the surviving heirs of such a corrupt governmental official. Than a waiver can be submitted due to financial hardships invoked in adhering to the "20 / 20 Rule". The waiver can either completely forgive the financial penalty or enforce it on a sliding scale basis.

Similarly any offending corporation per facility found to have bribed any local, State, or Federal governmental official or entity. Will be subject to the "20 / 20 Rule" as well. Be it paid as a lump sum, installments, at a higher tax rate, or having any remaining sweet heart deals completely revoked. Of course any combination of the above could occur if the offense committed is so gross in maleficence.

The Industrial Effects Catastrophe Fund is a social safety net similar to coal miners or railroad workers. However here it is directed to safeguard the public from the bad actors of private polluting industry. In covering their short / long term healthcare costs, stipends if disabled due to toxic exposure, or any heirs that have become developmentally retarded due to toxic pollutants exposure. Whether the exposure is be means of air quality, proximity by land, or water pollutants in bathing, washing, and cooking sources.

In the future God forbid any industrial nuclear facility accidents occurs that exposes the general populace to lethal radiation exposure. Such an "Industrial Effects Catastrophe Fund" will have been put in place for such a national calamity. Consider this "Cat Fund" to be an expansion of any FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) duties on the Federal level. Similarly the recent "BP Gulf Oil Spill" would have fallen under the auspices if such an "Industrial Effects Catastrophe Fund" would have been in place already.

This is the vision I foresee that is much needed for our country. On the basis of a yesterday that was never brought forth by a lack of American leadership. We are long overdue for such a national policy of justice in terms of industrial bad actors polluting our homes and especially our lives. If the government won't protect us, than who can?