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Mayor Willie Brown to Sign Precautionary Principle Ordinance Passed by Board of Supervisors

"Better Safe Than Sorry" Legislation an Historic Step Toward Protecting Public Health and Environment

Karen Pierce, Bayview Hunters Point Community Advocates (415) 641-2996
Janet Nudelman, The Breast Cancer Fund (415) 346-8223 x24, Cell: (415) 279-1473
Katie Silberman, CEH (510) 594-9864; Cell: 510/ 813-9864

Community, health and environmental leaders will join San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown as he signs into law historic legislation that will help protect public health and environment.

On June 24, 2003 the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted 8-1 to adopt the Precautionary Principle as City policy, a stunning and unprecedented breakthrough in environmental health policy and decision-making. This ordinance reorganized 11 separate pieces of environmental legislation into one environmental code with a visionary precautionary principle policy statement serving as its first chapter.

The Precautionary Principle says that where threats of serious harm to people or natural systems exist, lack of full scientific certainty relating to cause and effect should not be used to postpone measures to prevent harm. The Precautionary Principle requires a careful analysis of available alternatives using the best independent science available and selection of the alternative that minimizes impacts to human health and the environment. The Precautionary Principle seeks to prevent harm before it happens.

This is a great grassroots victory won by many organizations, including Bayview Hunters Point Community Advocates, Breast Cancer Action, The Breast Cancer Fund, Center for Environmental Health, Clean Water Action, Commonweal, Consumer Action, Greenaction, Redefining Progress, Urban Habitat, Women's Cancer Resource Center, the San Francisco Department of the Environment and the San Francisco Labor Council.

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