“Nestlé is Trying to Break Us” Town Fights to Stop Bottled Water Megacorp from Stealing Their Water

nestle-water-extractionBy Claire Bernish

A small town in Pennsylvania is the latest to be targeted by Nestlé Waters North America, which, in typical fashion, is seeking to extract millions of gallons of freshwater to bottle and sell for an obscene profit — whether or not local residents approve.

Nestlé sneakily began testing waters in the Kunkeltown area as far back as 2012; but residents wouldn’t have discovered the desire for its water at all had the mega-corporation not rented an office in the community center, as Truthout reported. In fact, Nestlé’s plans comprise no small operation, as Truthout explained:

In the permit application that Nestlé Waters filed with the Township, it states the company is proposing to drill two large wells, pump 200,000 gallons of water per day from the aquifer, put it in trucks and transfer it to an existing bottling facility near Allentown, about 20 miles away. It expects 60 truck trips through the town per day. And Nestlé isn’t going away anytime soon: It plans to pump for 10 years with an option to continue pumping for an additional 15 years, leading to the removal of 73 million gallons of water from the aquifer over the life of the wells.

True to form of its insidious and often covert business methods concerning bottled water operations, Nestlé was able to submit a permit application for bulk water extraction after Eldred Township changed an ordinance in May 2014. Though it’s unclear whether Nestlé had a hand in the switch, with the company already testing waters at the time and the fact the Township failed to inform residents certainly lends credence to the theory.

Prior to the ordinance change, as Truthout noted, “bulk water extraction … was explicitly illegal in places zoned for commercial use.”

At an Eldred Township Planning Commission meeting on January 21, it became clear that had strict standards been required specifically addressing water extraction, the ordinance might not have allowed Nestlé to proceed in its goals. According to an ongoing, detailed blog about the mess by a Kunkeltown resident, due to little other recourse at this point, “the main objective is to undo the error in passing the 2014 amendment.”

Truthout identified the blogger as engineer Don Moore, who said, “One of the things that opened my eyes was the amount of profit for Nestlé. To take all this water and hardly any cost. It’s unreal.”

Residents of Kunkeltown discovered the permissive zoning change only upon digging through township files and launched a coordinated, concerted effort — that appears to be working — to head off Nestlé’s designs on their water supply. Throngs often appear at township meetings to voice opposition and frustration to what seems to be the surreptitious attempt at usurpation of their water — as well as quality of life.

During a more recent public meeting of the Planning Commission on February 18, which advises the Zoning Board, Nestlé officials became the target as residents took turns expressing outrage for over four hours.

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“I go door-to-door in this community, 98 percent of the people are against it. Most of the people in this community are dead set against it,” Desiree Jaeckle demanded. “Why didn’t you find that out before you decided to extract your water?”

Apparently, the meeting and the mobilization by residents fighting Nestlé’s plans may have had an impact — in March, the Planning Commission unanimously voted to recommend the Zoning Board deny the mega-corporation’s application, outright. According to the Commission, which penned a 24-page letter to the Zoning Board, the ordinance redesign was a result of “poor planning,” and had been created by “the efforts of a few, limited interested parties.”

Also noted in the Commission’s letter were “numerous deficiencies and omissions in Nestlé’s application and supporting plans,” as found by the Township Engineer in a review.

Of particular concern, among many listed, is the volume of heavy truck traffic through town — each truck would weigh around 80,000 pounds, and throughout the course of Nestlé’s stated goals, “truck traffic could increase to in excess of 162 vehicle trips a day.”

Perhaps most telling — and what has concerned residents across the country dealing with Nestlé’s various water extraction locations — were indications from testing, the water supply would be compromised. According to the Commission letter:

Under test conditions, the proposed Nestlé water withdrawal diminished flow in [an] unnamed stream by 12%, and also resulted in a drop of two wells monitored on adjacent property.

Whether or not Kunkeltown residents will be forced to endure Nestlé’s nefarious business practices remains an open question. Though the Zoning Board has yet to make a decision, residents have vowed to continue the fight.

“We have wonderful water here and we will protect it. Nestlé is trying to break us,” Diehl told Truthout. “But I’m absolutely optimistic that we’ll win.”

Also Read: Nestlé CEO Denies That Water is an Essential Human Right

Claire Bernish writes for TheFreeThoughtProject.com, where this article first appeared.


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14 Comments on "“Nestlé is Trying to Break Us” Town Fights to Stop Bottled Water Megacorp from Stealing Their Water"

  1. Nestle has been stealing California’s water for years.

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  3. They are probably in cahoots with the GANGREEN Frisco based nrdc, who is directly responsible for stealing half the Kalifornia water supply and sending it unused out thru FRISCO bay…all because they hate farmers.

    It’s a malicious Frisco ECO-looney caused drought.

  4. I wonder if TPP or TTIP will allow mega corporations to sue these communities who dare to stand up for themselves. We might have a big problem on our hands. Could the rapid installation of the militarized police state just be coincidence? I don’t know, is the Pope catholic?

  5. Bottled water began in Europe at the end of WWII, as city water supplies had been variously contaminated. It has become a useless, world-wide trend that is profitable for drink-manufacturing giants.
    The profiteering has turned into theft of the water of many areas in the US and Europe. City water is usually clean and safe, unless the nerve poison, fluoride, has been added. Almost every year, water testing establishes that about 40% of bottled water comes from city faucets, anyway.

  6. michael lawless | April 29, 2016 at 12:12 pm | Reply

    send them to flint

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  8. The very fact corporations have a voice against a sovereign government should tell Idiot Culture something isn’t right in Bizarro World. With 4 members of the synagogue now seated @ SCOTUS we saw big pharma given immunity to civil liability, corporate “citizenship”, the “patriot act” etc. What’s in store for this dying republic should a 5th “dual citizen” be “appointed” to SCOTUS via the “Judas Class” in D.C.?
    Obviously Jonathan Pollard taught them nothing, or were you not aware the treasonous dual citizen is free to roam….in Israel?

  9. thumbsdwonNestle | May 1, 2016 at 7:39 am | Reply

    I hope they stand tall against these tactics. Nestle is pure fluoride I’m sure – bottling good water and inserting it’s chemicals and selling it back for fun and profit. CRIPE.
    I agree with HealthFitnessCafe – boycot these fascist copratocracies.

  10. All the “zoning and planning commission” b.s. is straight out of the criminal UN`s Agenda 21. Nestle is a foreign company stealing from US citizens, they are regular attendees at the annual crime syndicate secret meeting known as Bilderberg conference , coming next month. It is the biggest globalist, NWO conflagration there is, with lots of US politburorats, military, banksters, along with their foreign accomplice masters.

  11. Hugo Spinoso | May 1, 2016 at 7:18 pm | Reply

    altough it seems fair to pay for bottle water considering potabilization and transportation, the problem seems to be monopolization of water supply, but new technologies should make this a lesser problem, in most cases.

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