Tag Archives: 1041 permit

More on Nestle in Chaffee County From the Colorado Independent

Nestle’s lunge for Chaffee County’s spring water continues to draw interest from the media (which is probably not what Nestle initially envisioned).

It’s become a marathon of public hearings in Chaffee County, and Nestle’s experiencing what it probably likes least: the glare of independent assessments of their promises to the tiny rural area (their assertion the county would enjoy a $80,000 property tax bump was found lacking; the real number falls below $17,000).

In the Colorado Independent, writer David O Williams looks at the larger picture: Nestle bottled-water war heats up in Arkansas River Valley

A water grab by Swiss food and beverage behemoth Nestle is playing out in the county commissioner’s chambers of rural Chaffee County, which is considering issuing a 1041 permit to allow the siphoning of spring water for Nestle’s Arrowhead bottled water.

Enough water to supply about 700 homes would be pulled from springs in the scenic Arkansas River Basin, one of the most heavily rafted and fished rivers in the United States, and trucked up to Denver for bottling for Nestle’s Arrowhead brand.

Officials from the Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy District have been battling Nestle’s plan because the Swiss company wants to replace the spring water with water it leased from Aurora, but the Front Range city would retain the right to pull the plug on that deal in the event of a drought.

Finally, a Quince Adams (who appears to be a design student) fired up a short Nestle video, which is what we’re leaving you with today:

STOP NESTLE from Quince Adams on Vimeo.

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More on Nestle’s Chaffee County Project: The Numbers Just Don’t Add Up

Nestle Water’s Chaffee County water extraction project – which once saw smooth sailing ahead – now may be heading for the rocks (via the Salida Citizen online site):

During public hearing earlier this week, findings by the county’s
economic impact consultant, Jean Townsend of Coley/Forrest differed
dramatically from those presented by Nestle consultant THK Associates
as the county tries to determine what economic impacts the Nestle
project would have.

Nestle hopes to receive county approval for a special use permit and
1041 regulations to pipe spring water from the mouth of Brown’s Canyon
in Nathrop to Johnson Village. There, the water would be loaded onto
trucks for transport to a Denver bottling plant to become Nestle’s
Arrowhead brand of bottled water.

Demonstrating economic benefit is a condition of the 1041
regulations. Townsend found fault with Nestle’s portrayal of those
benefits on several significant fronts including the following:

– Though benefits were calculated on a 30-year term, Nestle has not
confirmed the duration of its water extraction plan that could be more
or less than 30 years.

– Local government property tax revenues are 61 percent less than Nestle estimates

– There will be no sales tax revenue to the county from the sale of
diesel fuel to Nestle trucks as well as electric utility use as THK
purported. This is an error THK admitted to in subsequent testimony.

– Local government expenditures would be higher than Nestle
estimated in part, because the county would have to hire ongoing
technical expertise to monitor Nestle pumping operations and any
subsequent mitigation

– The Nestle application did not address, quantify or provide for
the mitigation of the economic benefits lost due to the permanent
removal of spring water other than mentions of educational projects and
restoration work to the fish hatchery site on the property.

Townsend suggested the county work with Nestle to establish a
mitigation fund specifically earmarked for the project and funded by
Nestle that would help prevent against the county incurring negative
financial impacts.

THK’s Peter Elzi questioned Townsend’s math with respect to property
tax calculations and pipeline valuation. Townsend, bristling, defended
her math on property tax calculations and explained that she used state
mandated guidelines for assessing the value of the privately owned
water pipeline.

The Salida Citizen’s well-written story also cited overwhelming citizen resistance against the project, with most objecting to the loss of a natural resource with no real benefit to the area:

Avid fly-fisherman David Moore, spoke of the “myth of economic benefit”
saying Nestle is acting like it’s doing the county a huge favor by
“taking our natural resources.”

Businesswoman Colleen Kunkel told
commissioners that in her review of the Nestle 1041 application, she
found “no evidence that Nestle is a sustainable business of value to
this (Chaffee) county”

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Nestle Caught Unprepared at Hearing: Chaffee County 1041 Permit Process “Not Satisfied”

It sounds as if the Chaffee County 1041 Permit meeting – originally expected to be smooth sailing for Nestle Waters of North America – turned into a near-death experience for the company and its consultants.

The two words they didn’t want to hear? “Not Satisfied.”

The potential negative impacts on wetlands and the local economy were the focus of several items listed as “not satisfied” on the Nestlé Waters North America 1041 application by Chaffee County Engineer Don Reimer during the public hearing Tuesday in Buena Vista.

Two big areas of concern arose.

First came the consultant’s pointed doubts about Nestle’s claims of no environmental impacts to the wetlands and aquifer:

Ken Kohm, Ph.D., and Paul K.M. Van der Heijde of Geomega, a Boulder-based environmental consultant company working for the county, gave feedback of their review of Nestlé’s proposed groundwater and wetland development plan.

Kohm and Van der Hejide expressed concerns about the site. The individual wetland structure and function were not identified by Nestlé, they said.

There isn’t a history of the hydrology, Kohm said, so it’s difficult to fully understand what the impacts might be if previous patterns are unknown.

Both consultants said correct monitoring is needed to get better data and recommended a complete monitoring and mitigation plan.

Bruce Lauerman, Nestlé natural resource manager, said he felt the testing done by Nestlé was sufficient, but he did agree with the consultants about having a monitoring plan.

Then another consultant largely debunked Nestle’s claims of economic benefits to Chaffee County:

She said she felt Nestlé overestimated revenues the county would receive, suggesting the amount would be 61 percent less than estimated by Nestlé due to Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights constraints.

Townsend also said there were miscalculations regarding how the project is beneficial in terms of diesel fuel purchased, adding that there isn’t a local sales tax on diesel,.

Townsend also feels the costs to the county were underestimated and said the real question is “What is the net fiscal impact?” She suggested the creation of a mitigation fund from which the county could pull money to offset costs.

It gets worse for Nestle, and highlights the kind of fast-and-loose-with-the-facts “studies” used by Nestle in other areas (including Florida, where Nestle’s promise of 300 jobs fell flat in the face of their delivery of half that number).

Apparently there really are lies, damned lies, and Nestle’s claims.