The Coastal Packet: Nestle ripping off Michigan as well as Maine water

Sunday, October 1

Nestle ripping off Michigan as well as Maine water

Alternet - Flint became synonymous with lead-poisoned water after government officials, looking to save money, switched the city’s water supply from Detroit city water to water from the corrosive Flint river.

Once the city had switched, the number of children with elevated lead exposure doubled; residents reported unexplained rashes and losing hair. An unpublished study recently found fetal deaths in Flint increased by 58% during the crisis.

...Despite having endured lead-laden tap water for years, Flint pays some of the highest water rates in the US. Several residents cited bills upwards of $200 per month for tap water they refuse to touch.

But just two hours away, in the tiny town of Evart, creeks lined by wildflowers run with clear water. The town is so small, the fairground, McDonald’s, high school and church are all within a block. But in a town of only 1,503 people, there are a dozen wells pumping water from the underground aquifer. This is where the beverage giant Nestlé pumps almost 100,000 times what an average Michigan resident uses into plastic bottles that are sold all over the midwest for around $1.

To use this natural resource, Nestlé pays $200 per year.

Now, Nestlé wants more Michigan water. In a recent permit application, the company asked to pump 210m gallons per year from Evart, a 60% increase, and for no more than it pays today. In the coming months, the state is set to decide whether Nestlé can to pump even more.

Community Water, Maine - Nestlé (Poland Spring) pays no corporate taxes in the state of Maine. Though their US headquarters is based in Connecticut, we understand they use the tax shelter of Delaware.

The governor of Delaware is now speaking out and warns us of corporate welfare and how it is not in the best interest of citizen taxpayers.

"I was as guilty as any elected official at playing this game. But it’s a game that should stop. There’s a better way to compete for business....it would be better for taxpayers if these kinds of cash incentives could be invested instead in such things as schools and infrastructure."

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