Tag Archives: nestle in chaffee county

Christian Science Monitor Explores Nestle Issue in Salida (CO), Nestle Can’t Be Happy

While Nestle Waters of North America’s water extraction operation in Chaffee County, CO may have received a go-ahead from the county (despite the fact Nestle’s application didn’t meet the criteria), citizens are not happy, and the story drew the attention of the Christian Science Monitor, which included this passage:

For the better part of this year, Salida – population 5,400 – has also been the setting for a 21st century kind of battle – over water.

Here and there in windows and entryways are signs reading “Stop Nestlé” or “Nest-Leave.” They refer to a proposed project by Nestlé Waters North America, which hopes to pump water from a spring a half-hour north of here and sell it under its Arrowhead label.

Citing myriad concerns, a group of residents has objected vigorously. They worry about impacts to the watershed and to nearby wetlands. They say that climate change, predicted to further dry Colorado and the Southwest, warrants a precautionary approach to all things water-related. And, pointing to fights other communities have had with the company, they say they simply don’t want Nestlé as a neighbor.

None of the above is news to StopNestleWaters readers, and the response from Nestle’s operative is also predictable; opponents are “emotional” and Nestle’s only a target because they’re big.

This, of course, ignores the numerous conflicts Nestle’s incited in other rural areas, and it’s a shame the article itself doesn’t completely explore the roots of citizen dissatisfaction with Nestle.

Still, attention from national and international media (like the famous BusinessWeek article on Nestle’s battle in McCloud) are the very thing that Nestle would like to avoid. After all, the company is one the most-boycotted corporations on the planet, and they’re still facing an international baby formula boycott for their predatory tactics aimed at third world mothers.

National media attention they don’t need – even that which uncritically accepts the statements of their spokespeople.

Still no vote on Nestle bid to tap Chaffee County Water

Once again, Nestle Waters of North America’s plan to extract 65 million gallons of water from Chaffee County (CO) springs has hit another snag, a decision being delayed again until August 19.

Typically, Nestle sought to move the discussion from the public arena to a private one, though the County Commissioners denied Nestle’s request to discuss project stipulations with staff instead of hearing them exposed to the public in the meeting.

From the Colorado Springs Gazette:

Since last fall, Chaffee County commissioners have been wrestling with the project and harsh public reaction to it. On Wednesday, they went over a long list of conditions under which they would approve Nestle’s plan.

But the board, which held a half-dozen marathon public hearings in the spring and has debated it twice in meetings since, again balked at taking a vote on a land-use plan. Commissioners set Aug. 19 for the next meeting, at which county staff will present refined conditions.

The company wants to withdraw 65 million gallons of spring water a year for its Arrowhead brand of bottled water. Many residents view it as a water grab and say it could deplete area water supplies with no economic benefit to the community.

Much of the Front Range’s water, including Colorado Springs’ Otero Pump Station and Homestake pipeline, passes through Chaffee County, either in pipelines or in the Arkansas River, and the project has touched a nerve.

The commissioners denied requests by Nestle to delay the discussion and by opponents to reopen public comment.

The project – which Nestle surely thought was a slam-dunk in formerly Nestle-friendly Colorado – has been besieged by unexpectedly vigorous opposition from residents.

The realization that the county stood to gain almost nothing of long-term value from the project has galvanized opponents – and the fact that Nestle’s permits included economic “benefits” information that was shown to be false by an independent economist and ecologists hired by the county.

Nestle – which plans to tap other springs in Colorado – is undoubtedly worried about the precedent this project sets – both in terms bad publicity and setting a standard for opposition no matter where they go.

via Still no vote on Nestle bid to tap Chaffee County water | tap, bid, vote – Top Stories – Colorado Springs Gazette, CO.

Nestle Chaffee County Water Extraction Project Hanging in Balance

The Chaffee County Commissioners recently debated the fate of Nestle Waters of North America’s proposed water extraction project there, yet didn’t arrive at a decision.

Several stories in the regional press covered the hearing (It’s difficult for Nestle to sneak into town any more), and several passages were telling.

First, this project offers almost no benefit to the citizens of Chaffee County (one of the considerations in the 1041 permitting process), and at least one commissioner was willing to point that out.

This from the Salida Citizen’s Lee Hart:

John Graham, chair of Nestle opposition group, Chaffee County Citizens for Sustainability, said that what confused him about the deliberations is the commissioners emphasis on “when, when, when and condition, condition, condition.” Graham said he doesn’t think it’s the county’s role is to “suggest ways for Nestle’s proposal not to fail.” He said the commissioners’ decision should be based solely on whether or not Nestle’s proposal does or does not meet the 1041 requirements.

County Special Legal Counsel Barbara Green, explained 1041 regulations allow the commissioners to “approve, deny or approve with conditions” Nestle’s proposal. She said some of the proposed conditions; such as limits to truck traffic and providing a permanent conservation easement on the project property were in a direct response to public testimony.

Green, who said conditional approvals are commonplace in land use reviews in cities and counties throughout the state, explained that in the end, when the commissioners look at all the conditions, they must be satisfied the project will create no significant adverse impact on the county.

EJ Sherry and Alan Rule, who also oppose the Nestle project, both said they think the county is making a big mistake if they approve the project since they believe the economic benefit and fiscal impacts to monitor the project’s compliance with all the conditions as well as litigate any subsequent disputes with Nestle will adversely affect taxpayers.

The Pueblo Chieftan had this to say:

“One of the biggest issues for me is the impact on any aspect of the local economy,” said Commissioner Tim Glenn. “It would add some value, but the benefits don’t outweigh the potential losses like the forever inability to develop the resource to have a major economic benefit in Chaffee County.” Said Commissioner Dennis Giese, “All of us, everyone involved, would like to see more economic benefit to the community. The cost to us to regulate this – and it not producing the money in taxes – the county would need to offset that.”

Giese said local construction jobs would be minimal during construction of a 5-mile pipeline from the spring site to a Johnson’s Village trucking station. Regular local employees would also be minimal.

Possible conditions under study are require use of local contractors for construction and repairs, 50 percent local drivers and use of local materials.

Commissioners also discussed concerns about pumping rates and the possible decline of wetlands in the area. Giese suggested limiting pumping to 150 gallons per minute.

The commissioners also said they would like to set conditions on how to mitigate damage to wetlands should it occur and whether the conditions could include a cease-pumping order.

“I want to make sure we are not at a major impasse with Nestle Waters. They could say it is not my pumping but something else like someone changing irrigation practices that is drying out the wetlands and then were are in a lawsuit and that will be a cost to the taxpayers,” Glenn said.

Nestle’s actions in other rural towns are finally catching up with them; faced with what’s happened elsewhere, communities are waking up to the need to protect themselves from Nestle’s scorched earth legal tendencies, which naturally begs the question: Why deal with them at all?

Stipulations

It seems that Chaffee County’s Commissioners aren’t looking to deny the permit, but looking to add stipulations to the deal to make it work.

Many seem to include guarantees of local employment – the very stipulations Nestle has said were illegal when asked about them in other areas.

Should they accept them in Colorado, I’d suspect their representatives will have questions to answer elsewhere.