Once again, Nestle Waters finds itself accused of poor public process – this time Nestle Waters of Canada is charged with hiding plans for a backup well from citizens. From the Wellington Advertiser:
The company announced its new plans for a well on Gilmour Road at a public information session on Nov. 3 at Springfield Golf and Country Club on Gordon Street.
Yet several councillors took exception to advertising for the event, as well as letters sent to Gilmour Road residents, neither of which mentioned the plans for a secondary well. They say if that information was included, far more than a dozen people would have attended that meeting.
“The public trust is washing away faster than water can flow out of one of your bottles,” councillor Matthew Bulmer said sternly. He agreed with fellow councillor Susan Fielding the ads were very “ambiguous” and said the letters to residents were even less helpful.
Letters were sent to Gilmour Road residents the day before the meeting and neither the township nor the members of the newly established well protection committee – Bulmer, resident Dianne Paron, and Alan Dale of the Grand River Conservation Authority – were among the recipients.
“I’m concerned you’re trying to wiggle out of a very basic responsibility,” Bulmer said.
That Nestle stands accused of trying to sneak one past residents isn’t exactly news; they’ve been accused of the same thing in McCloud, Fryeburg, Sacramento, Mecosta County (MI), Florida, Wells/Kennebunk (ME), parts of Canada, and a whole host of other places.
While Nestle’s “good corporate citizen” routine is a regular part of its act, a closer look at the company’s actions belies the claim.
While their claim to “good corporate citizenship” seemingly doesn’t stand up to scrutiny, it is true that Nestle Waters of North America certainly knows how to slink into town and cut a deal before the public is aware of anything.
It’s happened in almost every small town situation (and we’ve certainly mentioned it before) – and it’s happened again in the case of their Sacramento plant.
Not only was the economic development director apparently aiding the company in keeping their project secret, Nestle also took advantage of a (possibly illegal program) that allowed them to begin work on their plant before the necessary permits were issued (via the Sacramento Bee):
For three years, the city of Sacramento has allowed developers to start work on their projects before receiving formal permits.The practice, covered by the controversial Facilities Permit Program FPP, is now part of an expanding city investigation into the operations of its Community Development Department.
That investigation was launched after city officials said the son of a city councilman improperly allowed new homes to be built in the Natomas flood zone – months before permits for those homes were issued.
Questions about the permit program surfaced this week after city officials determined that construction of a new Nestlé water bottling plant was permitted to start with a verbal approval and authorization letter – and not a formal building permit.
You can read the whole post at Sacramento let developers get jump-start before formal permits – Sacramento News – Local and Breaking Sacramento News | Sacramento Bee.