Category — cascade locks
The proposed Nestle water bottling plant in Cascade Locks (the Colombia Gorge) is heating up again, and Nestle – perhaps the least-loved water bottling company on the planet – can’t be happy to see this:
The video caption:
On March 29, 2010, a coalition of environmental and social justice organizations, Keep Nestle Out of the Gorge, led by the consumer advocacy group Food & Water Watch, (www.fwwatch.org) launched a coordinated campaign to prevent Nestle Waters North America from opening a water bottling facility in Cascade Locks Oregon.
The coalition gathered at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) offices to speak out against the plant, and to then deliver petitions to the ODFW signed by 4,000 Oregonians who oppose the proposed facility. Keep Nestle Out of the Gorge opposes the deal because a bottled water facility would lead to the commodification of Oregons public water resources, and potentially jeopardize local wildlife, especially native salmon and steel head species.
April 4, 2010 2 Comments
Nestle’s Cascade Locks bottling plant proposal will take water currently being used to raise endangered fish species, replacing it with well water.
Given that Nestle’s never done more than the minimum testing needed to secure their pumping permits (their pumping test in Chaffee County was only 72 hours long, and initially performed no tests at all in McCloud), the following dead fish story shouldn’t surprise us:
On the first day of an intended year-long test to see if Cascade Locks well water was suitable for raising fish, well water pumped into a test pond contained chlorine due to an equipment malfunction, and all of the privately purchased rainbow trout fry in the pond were killed. Nestle says (see below) it is working to “ensure there are adequate protections to avoid this, or other potential problems, in the future.”
The loss of the fish on the first day and Nestle’s subsequent commitment to only “ADEQUATE [my emphasis] protections … in the future” are very revealing, especially when considered in the context provided by their behavior in other communities across the country (see my Sept. 2 post below for documentation and action suggestions).
Oppose this project now, and support other projects to create sustainable jobs and options in Cascade Locks and other communities.
September 14, 2009 Comments Off
A guest opinion on the Oregon Live Web site touches on a host of water bottling issues that are not mentioned by bottlers themselves; what happens when all that waters leaves the state or county it was bottled in?
And why is it resource laws no longer seem to apply once water is put in a bottle?
The quest for water in the Northwest by Nestle is just one more indication that Oregonians need to step up to the plate and take seriously the stewardship of water in the state. By law, Oregonians own the water. But without a comprehensive state plan and vigilance on the part of citizens, we may soon be faced with an alarming amount of our water going out of state or even out of country.
Few are aware that three of the world’s largest private water bottlers are currently or soon may be taking our water and selling it for as much as 1,500 percent profit.
WalMart bottles artesian water from Cove to sell under its private
label across the country. CocaCola is in the middle of its plant
expansion in Wilsonville, where it will be bottling the Willamette
River as its Dasani brand. And now we may be faced with Nestle, the
Swiss multinational corporation, buying water as a municipal ratepayer
of Cascade Locks, bottling it and shipping it out of state.
It seems that these corporations have found a loophole in Oregon
statutes. ORS 537.810(1) states that “no waters of the state arising
within a basin shall be diverted, impounded or in any manner
appropriated for diversion or use outside the boundaries of that basin
except on the express consent of the Legislative Assembly.” Apparently,
once the water is capped in bottles, it becomes a product rather than a
Nevermind the private corporations and their 20-ounce bottles. What if
out-of-state interests come knocking, fill bladders that hold tens of
thousands of gallons of water and ship them by way of trucks or barges
to places for sale? Will these be considered products and therefore not
prohibited under Oregon law? We’ve heard that communities across the
Columbia River from Cascade Locks in Washington are running out of
water. And we’ve known for years that California has its eye on
Columbia River water.
As The Oregonian reported in 2008, U.S. District Judge Malcolm
Marsh, who has presided over Columbia River salmon disputes for years,
warned that other states might come after the Columbia as global
warming shrinks their water supplies.
“I don’t think those ideas have died,” he said. “I think they’re very, very much in sleep mode right now.”
He warned Northwesterners to settle their differences over fish and
water so they’re unified if other states with more political power come
calling. “You don’t want them to come up here in a situation of chaos,”
he said. “You want them to come up here in a situation of agreement.”
All of this indicates an immediate need for Oregon to draft a
comprehensive plan that addresses priorities and revisits state water
law. Its guiding principle must be to protect and provide clean water,
a human and watershed right, for current and future generations of
Oregonians. Oregon’s water shouldn’t be sold to the highest bidder.
Sen. Jackie Dingfelder, Reps. Jefferson Smith and Bob Jenson are to be
commended for starting the work. Now, we must all participate in this
Nancy Matela is co-host of “The Water Spot” on Cable Metro Community Access Channel 11 in Portland.
June 23, 2009 Comments Off
Inevitably, early media coverage of proposed Nestle plants is positive – a reflection of the company’s habit of quietly working to court small towns before the general public is aware of their presence.
In this case, the reporter gets it partially right – Nestle has been having a tough time finding towns willing to partner with it (apparently its reputation precedes it).
Still, the suggests the reception accorded the company has been “anything but hostile” – yet if you read the comments beneath the story (there are 54 of them), an overwhelming majority are hostile to the proposed plant (which will bring 110 trucks per day through the town’s single entrance).
In the reader poll, 84% voted “no” to the Nestle project.
When it comes to getting rights to bottle spring water in pristine places in the West, Nestle Waters North America has had some tough going of late.
Enumclaw, Wash., said no thanks last summer, citing environmental concerns. Nestle dropped attempts in two other Washington towns, Black Diamond and Orting, on logistical grounds.
Scott Learn/The OregonianThe spring that would supply a potential Nestle Waters bottling plant in Cascade Locks pops out at three wooded spots on a hill just above a state of Oregon fish hatchery.
And Nestle’s efforts in McCloud, Calif., near Mt. Shasta, have sparked a 6-year battle, with California’s attorney general railing last year at the evils of shipping and selling water in petroleum-based plastic bottles.
But Nestle’s latest proposal for its first Northwest bottling plant is for Cascade Locks, in the verdant Columbia Gorge, where the logistics appear favorable — and the reception has been anything but hostile.
It appears that Nestle Waters of North America no longer has the ability to sneak in under the radar – every project is fast becoming a battle for the Swiss multinational.
June 17, 2009 6 Comments
Three letters to the editor at Oregon Live are indicating what Nestle surely didn’t want to see: A surprising amount of opposition to a Nestle water bottling plant in Cascade Locks:
Before city leaders in Cascade Locks decide whether to allow the massive infrastructure, land use and water use changes sought by Nestle Waters North America, they would do well to check up on the welfare of similar communities hosting Nestle plants (“Bottler seeks to tap spring water in gorge,” June 12).
If Nestle is allowed to build a bottling plant and pump water in the Columbia River Gorge, it will most definitely do more harm than good.
Pumping huge amounts of water from rivers harms the environment, changes the balance of ecosystems, and mostly works to benefit the company.
In Mecosta County, Michigan, where Nestle has a bottling plant, the effects on the community have been
devastating. Nestle has made it virtually impossible for the community to have a say in how it pumps the water and runs the operation.
After reading about Nestle Waters North America’s proposal for a $50 million bottling plant in Cascade Locks, (bringing a whopping 45 jobs) all I can say is “No! No! No!”
Cascade Locks should not let Nestle anywhere near its supply of pristine spring water. That could begin the slippery slope of corporate ownership of the water supply.
June 16, 2009 1 Comment