Nestle Drops Plans to Build Massive Water Bottling Plant in California
September 28, 2009
California residents and public waters were dealt a major victory when, on September 11, 2009, Nestle Waters North America announced that it would no longer pursue a water bottling plant in McCloud, California. At one point, the proposed project would have allowed Nestle to pump up to 200 million gallons of water from nearby Mt. Shasta springs. Local residents and a coalition of groups, including Sierra Club, opposed the McCloud bottling facility for years, raising awareness about the social and environmental impacts of privatizing municipal drinking water supplies. Bottled water is much more expensive than tap water, and therefore less accessible, and producing plastic water bottles is extremely energy intensive and emits toxic chemicals into the atmosphere. Also, transporting bottled water emits greenhouse gas pollution, which contributes to global warming. In July 2008, Jerry Brown sent a letter to Nestle, highlighting the deficiencies in Nestle’s first Environmental Impact Report for the McCloud bottling plant. Specifically, the letter raised concerns about the facility’s impacts on global warming.
In place of the McCloud plant, Nestle has plans to operate a new bottling plant in Sacramento. Nestle claims it does not need to conduct an environmental analysis for the new Sacramento facility since they will only be modifying an existing building, but the new plant will undoubtedly contribute to air quality problems and global warming. Local groups and citizens are working to fight the proposed bottling plant.
Nestle’s McCloud decision follows a 2007 win in which a California judge ruled that Stockton illegally privatized its waters and ordered the water company involved to return control to the city, and represents a huge victory in a larger campaign to stop the privatization of the public’s drinking water.
See other "Promoting Resilient Habitats" cases.