Thursday, April 22, 2010

Community Forum on Wind Energy

Chloramine issues leave water safety less than crystal clear

As I See It

Chloramine issues leave water safety less than crystal clear

By Patriot-News Op-Ed
April 21, 2010, 5:03AM

Some people believe chloramine in drinking water can cause health problems.

On the day The Patriot-News editorial “It’s OK to drink up” was published (April 8), I was again fielding calls from Vermont citizens who say they are suffering health problems as a result of drinking chloraminated water.

Since 2006, I have been listening to citizen complaints and trying to assist people suffering from skin rashes, sores and lesions, itchy eyes, dry skin, low energy, diarrhea, vaginal discharges, urinary tract infections, stomachaches, shortness of breath, asthma and other respiratory problems.

All are exposed to chloramine-treated water. None gets relief from doctors. Many have seen their symptoms disappear within days of using nonchloraminated water.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s response to these health issues has been inadequate.
Instead of acknowledging that something has gone wrong, EPA has dug in and continues to promote the use of chloramine, the combination of chlorine and ammonia, as a water disinfectant.

At a recent meeting in Vermont, an EPA staffer reiterated the agency’s position that it believes it’s doing the right thing.

A recent change in EPA water guidelines was supposed to help eliminate the long-term health effects created by the chlorine’s disinfection by-products.

The result of the EPA change has been several water systems, including one in central Pennsylvania, changing from chlorine-treated water to chloramine-treated water.

When I responded that people can filter out chlorine but they cannot filter out chloramine easily, and they are having health problems with chloramine, the EPA’s response is simple: Use a filter.

But it’s not that simple.

One Vermonter is trying to follow that advice. She lives in an apartment complex and is miserable, with itchy eyes, diarrhea, low energy and other health problems that clear up when she goes to New York City, which does not use chloramine.

She and many other Vermonters have done the cause-and-effect experiment enough to prove to themselves that it isn’t in their heads.

She got a quote of $4,200 to install a water filtration system in her apartment.

Then the apartment complex management determined that the filter wouldn’t work on the hot water and is too big for the closet.

The new quote for $10,000 includes knocking out a wall, installing the filter on the cold water line and putting in an electric instant water heater. After all this is done, she still is at risk from eating the food cooked and served at her apartment complex’s dining room, where they cook with chloraminated water.

EPA is beginning to admit there is a sensitive sub-population of people who react to chloramine.

But EPA’s solution, home water filtration, is not realistic.

Many low-income people have no choice but to continue subjecting themselves to chloraminated water because they cannot afford expensive filtration and they cannot afford to buy spring water.

Many people have taken the position of The Patriot-News editorial board dismissing concerns about chloraminated water only to find themselves confronted with friends and family who are suffering problems.

To say that all the questions have been answered is to ignore reports of health problems from chloraminated districts in more than a dozen states as well as the real scientific evidence that is identifying toxic substances that can occur in chloraminated water.

Vermont’s congressional delegation sent a letter to EPA in January asking it to conduct health studies because of the problems Vermonters are experiencing.

No, not everyone is going to get sick from a switch to chloramine. But from my experience in Vermont, I believe some will. Will it be you?

Annette Smith, executive director of Vermonters for a Clean Environment, is a native of Lewisburg. She wrote this while vacationing with her mother in central Pennsylvania.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Food & Water Watch’s Denise Hart! coming to Vermont

Is access to clean drinking water a basic human right, or a commodity that should be bought and sold like any other article of commerce? From the producers of Who Killed the Electric Car, this timely documentary is a behind-the-scenes look into the unregulated and unseen world of an industry that aims to privatize and sell back the one resource that ought never to become a commodity: our water. This film is being presented by Vermont Natural Resources Council (VNRC) in partnership with Food & Water Watch - don’t miss the post-film discussion with Food & Water Watch’s Denise Hart!

Showings: Bethany Church in Montpelier, Wed. Apr 21, 6:30 PM
UVM (L108 Lafayette), Monday May 3, 7:00 PM
These screenings are free, but donations are encouraged.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Wind towers discussed at West Rutland meeting

By Gordon Dritschilo STAFF WRITER - Published: October 23, 2009

WEST RUTLAND — Two speakers said wind towers need to be a safe distance from homes and another said they do not need to be in Vermont during a forum Thursday.

Vermonters for a Clean Environment organized the meeting at West Rutland Town Hall in light of the proposal of Vermont Community Wind Farm to build an 80-megawatt development in and around Ira.

VCE executive director Annette Smith moderated the meeting, which opened with a reading of a poem by Marshall Squier of Tinmouth and a performance of the Vermont state song.

Smith, who advised Ira residents who were against the proposal at a meeting in April and whose group has petitioned the Public Service Board in opposition to the placement of wind testing towers in association with the proposal, objected to being called an opponent of the development.

Smith said she reached out to VCWF early on, offering to help them work with the community in a constructive way, and was ignored. No one from VCWF was seen at the meeting.

Richard James, a sound engineer from Michigan, said he has studied more than 30 wind projects since 2005 and seen some designed well and some designed poorly. The well-designed ones, he said, had no homes near the turbines.

"Normally, we recommend wind turbines be 1.25 miles from the nearest home," he said. "When turbines are lined up in rows, we recommend that distance be 2 miles to 2.5 miles."

James said having wind towers in a row, as along ridge lines, amplifies sound effects in a way often not accounted for in computer modeling used by wind companies, and that developers need to be required to adjust for it.

James also said the intermittent nature of noise from wind towers causes it to agitate people at lower sound levels than that of other noise sources, so different standards should apply to them.

Carmen Krogh, a retired pharmacist from Canada, described suddenly getting sick when she vacationed near a wind tower. She said a significant body of medical literature on adverse health effects from tower-generated noise is dismissed by wind companies and ignored by the government.

Krogh said she has found many people near wind farms describing symptoms just like those listed in the studies and that there needs to be third-party studies of the health effects.

"We have competing claims right now," she said. "The industry says don't worry, the government says don't worry and we have victims saying we're worried."

In previous statements, VCWF spokesman Jeffrey Wennberg has said that improperly sited towers can cause problems, but that 80 percent of wind farms do not generate noise complaints and that the company believes it will be able to meet standards with half-mile setbacks.

Kevin Jones, former Rutland City alderman and current director of power market policy for the Long Island Power Authority, said that while he supports wind development, Vermont does not necessarily need it.

Jones said Vermont can meet its goals for renewable energy production without building any wind towers with a blend of imported wind power, biomass, hydro and solar.

He also said Vermont has an electricity surplus and that closing Vermont Yankee should not be used as an argument in favor of building wind towers because the state has enough power to close the nuclear plant now.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Vt. legislature approves water treatment bill

Law requires study of purification methods

May 14, 2009

By Greg Elias
Observer staff

Lawmakers have passed a bill requiring study of water treatment alternatives amid complaints that a method used locally has sickened some people.

H. 80 won approval by both the Vermont House and the Senate last week. It requires the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to study options for treating public water supplies.

The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Jim McCullough, D-Williston, originally imposed a two-year moratorium on the use of chloramine in water systems throughout Vermont.

But the provision was stripped amid opposition from the Champlain Water District, which provides water to 68,000 users in Chittenden County. Health complaints surfaced soon after the district started using chloramine three years ago.

The bill was later amended by the Senate Health and Welfare Committee to require further study of treatment alternatives.

McCullough, who previously expressed disappointment with the amended bill, said on Monday that the final legislation was a reasonable compromise because more information on medical problems and water treatment options is needed.

“I’m very happy with this solution on several fronts,” he said.

McCullough explained that though the maladies reported by scores of local residents seem real, medical evidence linking the problems to chloramine was lacking. He also said a moratorium might have resulted in no solution after the two-year timeout.

The Champlain Water District began using chloramine as a secondary treatment in April 2006. The district has said the compound will allow it to meet stricter water purity standards the EPA will impose in coming years.

But after the change, some water users began reporting health issues, including skin rashes, stomach cramps and breathing problems. Estimates of how many people experienced problems linked to the water supply vary from dozens to hundreds.

A local organization named People Concerned About Chloramine was formed to advocate for victims. That organization and a second group, Vermonters for a Clean Environment, lobbied for a ban on chloramine.

Ellen Powell, organizer of People Concerned about Chloramine, said she would have preferred a moratorium. But she hoped the study would at least provide evidence showing chloramine is not the best way to meet treatment standards.

“The lack of a moratorium is very disappointing to me,” Powell said. “On the other hand, an engineering study is good.”

Chloramine is one of the ways to reduce byproducts created by the use of chlorine, the primary disinfectant used by the Champlain Water District and others around the state and the country.

Chlorine’s disinfectant properties weaken as water flows further away from its source, reacting with organic matter to produce byproducts thought to pose health hazards. Chloramine, formed by mixing ammonia and a chlorine compound, eliminates those harmful byproducts.

But there are other methods to treat those byproducts, Powell said. The study, which will be federally funded, will consider each method’s effectiveness and cost.

The study can be used by all public water districts in Vermont to gauge the best way to meet the EPA standards, McCullough said. Those standards require a reduction in chlorine byproducts by 2012.

The study is scheduled to be completed by January 2010, in time for the start of the next legislative session.

“This gives us hard information,” he said. “When the study is done, I’m hopeful the district will say we can do this without chloramine.”

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Vermont House passes chloramine legislation

Vermont's House voted for the third and final time on the follow legislation related to the use of chloramine, especially in the Champlain Water District:

Bill Amended; Third Reading Ordered
H. 80
Rep. Webb of Shelburne, for the committee on Fish, Wildlife & Water Resources, to which had been referred House bill, entitled An act relating to the use of chloramine as a disinfectant in public water systems

Reported in favor of its passage when amended by striking all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

The general assembly finds and declares that the disinfection of public water supplies is acknowledged to be one of the most significant public health accomplishments of all time, and that:
(1) The Champlain water district is the first water system in Vermont to use the disinfectant known as chloramine;477 WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25, 2009
(2) Before using chloramine, the Champlain water district was in compliance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Stage 1 regulations for disinfectants and disinfectant byproducts in public water supplies, which are in effect until October 1, 2012;
(3) Since the Champlain water district began the use of chloramine as a disinfectant in April 2006, more than 80 people who use Champlain water district water have reported adverse human health effects, including rashes, respiratory problems, and digestive problems;
(4) It has been reported that people using water from the Champlain water district cannot filter out all the chemical byproducts;
(5) It has been reported that doctors lack sufficient studies to make diagnoses of the public health effect of chloramine in public water supplies;
(6) There have been no Vermont epidemiological studies on the dermal, respiratory, and digestive effects of human exposure to chloraminated drinking water;
(7) There is considerable controversy about whether the Champlain water district, the department of health, and the department of environmental conservation have adequately responded to the public health concerns raised by the use of chloramine;
(8) The agency of natural resources and the department of health should work together to review the health and safety of the use of chloramine as a disinfectant and make efforts to enhance the response to public health concerns raised by individuals alleging harm to health due to the use of chloramine as a disinfectant.
Sec. 2. 10 V.S.A. § 1675 is amended to read:

(a) Authority to issue, renew, or deny permit. The secretary may issue, renew, or deny a public water system permit required by this chapter. As part of this authorit y, the secretary may issue general operating permits for the operation of transient noncommunity water systems.
(b) Avoidance of public health hazard or risk. A public water system permit shall be issued or renewed only upon a finding by the secretary, included in the permit, that operation of the system will compl y with the standards adopted under this chapter and will not constitute a public health hazard or a significant public health risk.

(1) In making this finding for the issuance of a permit for a new public water source, the secretary shall consider the probable effects of existing and likel y future land use practices, including the effects of the uses of agricultural lands, that may affect the quantity or quality of the water associated with any proposed public water source, and whether such practices are likely to constitute a public health hazard relating to such source. The secretary shall not issue a permit for a new public water source if he or she determines that such existing or likely future land use practices are likely to constitute such a public health hazard.
(2) In making this finding for the issuance of a permit for the addition of a new type of change in type of disinfectant, the secretary shall, after consultation with the department of health, consider the likely effects on health from the use of the new type of a change in type of disinfectant. The secretary shall not issue a permit for a new or existing public water system if he or she determines that use of a new type of disinfectant the change in the type of disinfectant used will result in a health effect that is likely to constitute a public health hazard. For the purposes of this section, a change in the type of disinfectant used by a public water system does not include increased or decreased dosage of a previously permitted disinfectant.
(c) Notice and hearing.
* * *
(2) The secretary shall give notice to the public of each application by a public community system for the addition of a new t ype of change in type of disinfectant to be used. Notice shall be by publication in a newspaper of general circulation for the area containing the proposed public water system and by causing a notice to be posted in the clerk's office for the municipality in which the system is located. The secretary shall also give notice to appropriate state agencies. The secretary shall provide an opportunity for written comment and shall, upon request, provide for a public hearing on the application before ruling on the application. The secretary may require the applicant to submit additional information which the secretary considers necessary in order to support the findings required in subsection (b) of this section, and may refuse
to grant a permit until the information is furnished and evaluated. The secretary may also consult with the commissioner of health, as necessary, in making decisions regarding health issues raised by the application. The commissioner's response, if any, shall be part of the public record for the application.
* * *
(a) The secretary of natural resources, in consultation with the department of health and the Champlain water district, shall review the public health impact of the use of chloramine and shall continue to consult with the users of the Champlain water district whose health has allegedly been adversely impacted by the use of chloramine as a disinfectant chemical in the water supply of the Champlain water district.
(b) On or before January 15, 2010, the secretary of natural resources shall report to the house committee on fish, wildlife and water resources, the senate committee on natural resources and energy, the house committee on human services, and the senate committee on health and welfare with the information generated or collected under the requirements of subsection (a) of this section. The report shall also include a summary of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s literature survey of the health impact of chloramine as a disinfectant.

The bill, having appeared on the Calendar one day for notice, was taken up, read the second time, report of the committee on Fish, Wildlife & Water Resources agreed to and third reading ordered.
Bill Amended; Third Reading Ordered

Third Reading; Bills Passed

House bills of the following titles were severally taken up, read the third time and passed:
H. 80
House bill, entitled
An act relating to the use of chloramine as a disinfectant in public water

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Know Your Water

Vermonters for a Clean Environment will be hosting a series of forums about water in Essex Junction, South Burlington, Williston and Shelburne. See the poster below for dates and times:On a related subject, VCE recently testified to the Vermont House committee on Fish, Wildlife and Water Resources about the use of chloramine in the state's largest municipal water system, the Champlain Water District. We were given the opportunity to bring in testimony about the Science of Chloramine.

Click on this link to read VCE's testimony on the Science of Chloramine.
House Fish, Wildlife and Water Resources Committee
Testimony on H.80
Annette Smith, Executive Director Vermonters for a Clean Environment
February 12, 2009

Saturday, December 6, 2008

VCE's New Water Book

“Respect Water, Protect Water”

is made up of a range of inspirational pieces – from facts to spiritual rituals and prayer poems, personal actions to lists of organizations working on water – that explore how individuals can interact with one of the many crucial environmental issues we face. Rev. Dr. Rosemary Partridge’s prayer poems are matched with Ellen Powell’s powerful photographs of water in its many forms and contexts, and are designed to encourage everyone to be involved in protecting and cherishing water.

To Order “Respect Water, Protect Water” in Color or Black and white, go to:

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

DEC resents VCE's suggestions that the state dropped the ball

DEC resents criticism

"Kessler at the DEC resents the suggestion by neighbors and Vermonters for a Clean Environment — last month the environmental group named ABC Metals one of ANR’s 10 worst regulatory failures — that the state dropped the ball on its enforcement measures." Junkyard Dog, Seven Days Vermont.

Readers of VCE's report will note that most of its content about ABC Metals (pages 30 - 33) was based on an editorial from last year's Burlington Free Press that blasted state and local officials, including ANR, for its failures.  

ANR needs to stop pointing fingers and start solving problems.  ABC Metals is a good place to start.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

VCE Releases Report on Vermont's ANR

Vermonters for a Clean Environment's Report on the Agency of Natural Resources, Department of Environmental Conservation was released at a press conference in Montpelier today.

WCAX news coverage of VCE's Report on ANR, Report Critical of Natural Resources Agency, July 15, 2008.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Expert Speaks on Water Security in an Era of Climate Change

Expert Speaks on Water Security in an Era of Climate Change

Internationally renowned water expert Maude Barlow will be in Vermont for a series of events on April 2 in Montpelier.

Ms. Barlow is one of the foremost experts on global efforts to privatize water resources, the growing scarcity of water supplies and what communities are doing — and can do — about it.

The expertise and context Ms. Barlow offers on this issue is timely in Vermont. Water resources across the nation and the world are becoming increasingly scarce and sought after… and Vermont is one of the last states in the nation to protect our groundwater — 2/3rds of Vermonters’ drinking water. A bill now under consideration in the Legislature — S.304 — aims to fill the gap in Vermont’s water laws.

* 10:30 a.m. - Testimony to a joint committee in Room 11 at the Vermont State House
* 12:30 p.m. – Book signing at Bear Pond Books in downtown Montpelier (77 Main St.)
* 6:00 p.m. – Discussion on “The Global Water Crisis and the Coming Battle for the Right to Water.” The event takes place at Bethany Church in Montpelier (115 Main St.) and is free and open to the public. A short Q&A will follow the presentation.

Ms. Barlow co-authored one of the first books that tackled water security and privatization issues in a powerful book titled Blue Gold: The Fight to Stop Corporate Theft of the World’s Water. She is currently on tour in the United States promoting her new book, Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis and the Coming Battle for the Right to Water.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Chloramine Records Show DEC, VDH Focus on CWD Costs, Not Public Health

PRESS RELEASE CONTACT: Annette Smith, VCE Exec. Dir.
DATE: Feb. 25, 2008 PHONE: 802-446-2094

Chloramine Records Show DEC, VDH Focus on CWD Costs, Not Public Health

Governor’s Intervention Requested

Today People Concerned About Chloramine (PCAC) and Vermonters for a Clean Environment (VCE) posted on the VCE website copies of records suggesting that state officials are more focused on defending the Champlain Water District than addressing customers’ concerns about their health since the CWD switched to using chloramine. The records were found during a recent public documents request.

“What we have found is evidence of a coordinated attempt to use state agencies to ignore the health impacts people are suffering and instead be the mouthpiece for the CWD,” said Ellen Powell, co-coordinator of PCAC. “The records show few if any discussions about how to get to the bottom of the hundreds of complaints that have come in, but instead discussions about how to ‘win’ the fight to defend chloramine. We’re not trying to ‘win’ anything, just help people be able to drink the water in their own homes,” she concluded.

The documents reveal a high level of coordination between VDH, DEC, and CWD staff and consultants. The communications focus on how to produce documents that would defend the CWD’s decision and “resolve” the issues raised by sufferers by providing them access to an information telephone line. They also showed the beginnings of an effort to shift the focus to the cost to the CWD if they could not use chloramine in the short or long term, something currently being considered by legislators.

“There was no evidence that any of the health concerns raised are being taken seriously,” said VCE Executive Director Annette Smith. “For the past two years we have been seeking a partner in government to get to the bottom of the health issues. Today we’ve made a formal request for a meeting with the Governor to share our concerns, review these documents, and ask for his direct intervention to ensure that the health issues get addressed. That is what he did in the suit against the EPA regarding auto emissions – he needs to do the same thing here.”

“While we continue to work with legislators on possible action, we need to bring the Governor into the discussion as well. These are his appointees – they need to be held accountable,” she concluded.

A copy of the letter to the Governor asking for a meeting is below.

The CWD switched to using chloramine in April 2006. Since then PCAC has received complaints from over 270 customers who suffer from skin, breathing, and digestive issues when exposed to the water.

For excerpts from the documents referenced, please go to

Letter sent via FAX to Governor Jim Douglas:
Vermonters for a Clean Environment
789 Baker Brook Road, Danby, Vermont 05739 (802) 446-2094

February 25, 2008

Gov. James Douglas
109 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05609-0101

Dear Governor Douglas,

Citizens of Vermont who receive their drinking water from the Champlain Water District (approximately 68,000 people in Chittenden County) have been complaining for nearly two years about health problems since the change to the drinking water disinfectant known as chloramine. Since April 2006, more than 270 people have reported breathing problems, skin rashes, burning eyes, dry skin, stomach problems and worse to the citizens group People Concerned about Chloramine. When people stop using the water, they get better. This fact is especially important given that despite EPA approval there have never been any studies to demonstrate the safety of chloramine for humans.

Something has gone terribly wrong with the chloramine chemistry experiment, and it needs to stop. Unfortunately, your administration’s response to this serious public health problem has been slow and inadequate. We have patiently attempted to work in a cordial and collaborative manner with the Vermont Department of Health, the Agency of Natural Resources Department of Environmental Conservation and the Champlain Water District. All of our efforts have been rebuffed or ignored.

We have been working with legislators for the past year on possible legislative initiatives to address these critical problems. Now we are turning to you to join us in these discussions.

In an effort to understand how our state government is attempting to solve the chloramine problem, we recently filed a FOIA with DEC. We are dismayed, disappointed and alarmed by what we found has been taking place. E-mail exchanges between your appointees and their staff, from the highest level on down, reveal a complete failure to grapple with the public health issues many CWD customers are facing.

If there had been communications among your staff to address the problems being experienced by the people who are suffering, we would have found records of discussions about health studies, water testing, protocols, methodologies, alternative technologies, mitigation, and possible causes for people’s health problems. That is what we would like to focus on – trying to help sick people.

Instead, your appointees and staff are intent on changing the focus away from health risks to cost, and to win-lose scenarios. When the state of Vermont’s Department of Health’s Director of Public Policy writes,

"If we don't discuss costs as well as risk, we won't shift the conversation. We are not going to win this on health science or 2-1-1 lines." --February 7, 2008 email from JoEllen Warner to Brad Ferland, Nancy Erickson, cc: Jim Fay, Sabina Haskell

we ask “what does ‘win’ mean?”

Governor Douglas, people are sick and we need to work together to help them. Most people would agree that you cannot put a price on good health, yet that is precisely what your administration is attempting to do.

I am writing to request a meeting with you at your earliest possible convenience to ask for your direct participation in this issue, and to discuss how we can work together in a more productive fashion to solve the issues presented by the use of chloramine by the CWD. I will make myself available at any time you choose. The one thing we cannot do is sit back and let people continue to suffer. To review the e-mail correspondence about which I write, please see:

I especially recommend that, after you read the e-mails, you read the three letters from sufferers and ANR Sec. George Crombie’s totally inadequate responses:

People in many states have experienced the same problems with chloramine that Vermonters are complaining about. As with auto emissions, when it comes to water disinfection federal regulators have made decisions that are not necessarily in the best interests of our people or our environment. We appreciated your willingness to take a stand in defense of stricter emissions standards and we now ask you to stand up to EPA in their well-intentioned but poorly-implemented regulation of drinking water.

There is nothing more important than clean, safe drinking water. People’s health and welfare depend on you taking immediate action and holding your appointees accountable.

We look forward to your response.


Annette Smith
Executive Director

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


January 15, 2008,
1:30 p.m., Statehouse

The Senate Health and Welfare Committee will listen Tuesday to complaints about the effects of chloramine, which is used to disinfect water systems. A group, People Concerned about Chloramine, would like the Legislature to ban the use of chloramine until its safety has been proven.
January 15, 2008
7:00 pm, Stockbridge Town Offices

Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) - Water Supply Div. - Public Meeting - RE: Proposed Source Protection Area, Colton Spring, Stockbridge, which serves the Chalet Village Water System, a public community water system, & the Pristine Springs of VT bottled water system

Stockbridge Town Offices, 1722 VT Rte. 100 (just south of the intersection of VT Rtes. 107 & 100, next to the post office), Stockbridge
January 17, 2008
7:00 pm, U-32 High School

Public Meeting about East Montpelier Springs Proposal

An informal group of concerned East Montpelier residents are convening a discussion this Thursday evening, January 17 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in Room 131 at U-32 High School in East Montpelier. The forum will focus on:

1. A proposal to bottle East Montpelier water
2. The Legislature's consideration of a groundwater bill

Speakers include Representative David Deen, Chair of the House Fish, Wildlife and Water Resources Committee, Daniel Antonovich, developer of Montpelier Springs, VNRC's Water Program Director Jon Groveman, and Joan Sax of Randolph's Water 1st citizens group.

For more information, contact Johanna Miller at 802-223-2328 or Carolyn Shapiro at 802-229-5676.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Who Owns the Water?

A privately-owned Canadian corporation has announced a plan to build a 273,000 sq. ft. water bottling plant in Claremont, New Hampshire. In the sole public hearing on the issue in NH, the company spokesperson said that at build-out, Ice River Springs would be bottling 300,000 gallons per day, with 60 to 75% of it coming from a spring in Vermont called Pristine Mountain Springs. You can read more about the proposal and the players in this update from Polaris Institute.

Vermont now faces the challenge of attempting to protect water for Vermonters while dealing with the trade protections granted by NAFTA. More on that one here in this AP story.

Vermont's groundwater committee, set up by the legislature, will meet on December 14 at 10 a.m. in the Statehouse in Montpelier to discuss its recommendations to the legislature.