Bhopal Chemical Disaster Policy Order

COUNCILLOR MAZEN

 

Whereas: December 3, 2014 marks the 30th anniversary of the chemical disaster in Bhopal, India, when a Union Carbide chemical plant unleashed a cloud of deadly chemicals that killed more than 8,000 people in a single night, and has been responsible for over 16,000 deaths since; and

 

Whereas: In Bhopal, up to three kilometers from the factory, at depths greater than 30 meters, the groundwater is contaminated with cancer-causing and birth-defect-causing chemicals, as well as heavy metals, because of Dow's refusal to clean up the factory site; and

 

Whereas: Over 100,000 people are permanently disabled and many more are unable to earn a living because of injuries suffered from the 1984 disaster. There is ongoing congenital malformations and developmental disabilities among the children of survivors; and

 

Whereas: Despite this, Dow refuses to face the criminal charges brought against it in India for the disaster or to aid in clean up, medical care, and economic rehabilitation of the survivors - and given that Dow was required to appear an Indian court on November 12, 2014 but did not; and

 

Whereas: Numerous social justice and environmental justice groups worldwide, including Amnesty International, Pesticide Action Network, and Greenpeace have highlighted the Bhopal case as one of the most horrifying instances of human rights abuse that have gone unresolved; now therefore be it

 

Resolved: That the Council stands in unity recognizing that the Anniversary of the Bhopal Disaster – December 3rd – be a Day of Remembrance for Victims of Industrial Disasters and Pollution; and be it further

 

Resolved: That the Council go on the record in support of Dow Chemical Corporation assuming responsibility for the disaster and take steps to ensure that crucial issues such as economic rehabilitation and the clean-up of the site are taken up forthwith; and be it further

 

Ordered: The City Manager be and hereby is requested to examine simultaneously announcing the city's boycott and divestment from all manner of engagement with Dow; and be it further

 

Ordered: The City Manager be and hereby is requested to confer with the Board of the Cambridge Retirement System to determine if they hold Dow stocks and bonds and what steps can be taken to divest from Dow; and be it further

 

Ordered: The City Manager be and hereby is requested to confer with the appropriate departments to find safe substitutes for Dow products being purchased by the city; and be it further

 

Ordered: The City Clerk’s office be and hereby is requested to send a suitably engrossed copy of this resolution to Dow Chemical company;and be it further

 

Ordered: The City Manager be and hereby is requested to report back to the council on this matter.

 


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