Gail Darrell on Wells Vote (WKNH, May 21 interview)

George Corrette and Pat Riot (Empire Watch, WKNH) interview Gail Darrell of CELDF about the recent vote in Wells, Maine on a Water Rights and Local Self Government Ordinance.   (Length: 25 min.)

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Water bottlers block NY deposit law

NEW YORK (AP)  – A federal judge on Wednesday (May 27, 2009) temporarily blocked a new law requiring return deposits on water bottles sold in New York state, calling the law unconstitutional.  U.S. District Judge Thomas P. Griesa issued an order that will stop enforcement of the law while water bottlers work to have it changed.

The judge said the water bottlers “not only have a likelihood of success, they are sure of success as a matter of law” in their challenge of the new law.

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Wells Residents Consider Water Rights Ordinance (MPBN radio)

Susan Sharon, Maine Public Radio Network, May 11, 2009

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If you’ve been listening to the radio lately, you may have heard an advertisement promoting the economic benefits of Poland Spring and urging residents of Wells to vote against a local ordinance that would ban commercial water extraction in the town.

Wells voters will decide at a Saturday town meeting whether they want to join the communities of Shapleigh and Newfield in adopting the so-called “rights-based” ordinance that supporters say gives the environment more rights than corporations.

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Vote to test corporate water rights May 16 in Wells

An ordinance would let the town of Wells seek damages for interference with the local ecosystem.

By Ann S. Kim, Portland Press Herald, May 11, 2009

A key battle in Maine’s ongoing war over water will be decided in Wells on Saturday. Voters at a town meeting will decide whether theirs will become the latest community to ban water extraction by companies like Poland Spring.

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Water bills swamp Maine Legislature

By Steve Bodnar, Seacoast Online, May 07, 2009

Town governments aren’t the only ones trying to settle a statewide debate on who has rights to water resources — a similar quandary also is working its way through Maine’s 124th Legislature.

With about 127 proposed bills on water issues this legislative session, over a dozen of which directly pertain to water-extraction issues, state lawmakers say it hasn’t been easy sorting things out, but there has been progress.

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Poland Spring feels the heat in Augusta: Hearings focus on water tax, corporate rights

By Ann S. Kim, Portland (ME) Press Herald, May 5, 2009

Poland Spring is fighting a number of measures as lawmakers consider proposals ranging from a tax on bottled water to a bill that would allow local communities to deny corporations their constitutional rights. The proposals come as the water bottler has also had to contend with the recession, growing public distaste toward plastic bottles and opposition to its activities in a number of Maine communities.

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NY Gov. Paterson signs Executive Order to phase out bottled water at State facilities

Executive Order Will Improve Environment and Save Taxpayer Dollars

New York Becomes Second State in the Country to Eliminate Purchase and Use of Bottled Water

Governor David A. Paterson today (May 5, 2009) signed an Executive Order to phase out New York State’s purchase and use of bottled water at State agency facilities. This announcement, made by the Governor at “Earth Day Lobby Day” in Albany, marks another important step New York State is taking to improve the environment while simultaneously saving taxpayer dollars. Today’s actions make New York the second state in the country to eliminate the purchase and use of bottled water.

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Water Wars Go Underground

by Sharon Guynup, Blue Ridge (WV) Press, May 2009

Hiking in Maine’s Vernon Walker Wildlife Preserve in 2006, Ann Wentworth stumbled upon one of 16 test wells dug there without public knowledge by the Nestle Corporation. She alerted the two adjoining rural communities, Newfield and Shapleigh, where residents were inflamed by the company’s plans to pump away large quantities of local groundwater, bottling and selling it under the Poland Spring brand and other labels.

In March 2009, the towns blocked Nestle, passing ordinances granting citizens the right to protect their groundwater resources and prohibiting corporate water extraction. That same month, however, citizens in nearby Fryeburg, Maine lost a four-year fight against a Poland Spring pumping station that now will ship 50 truckloads of groundwater daily from their small, rural community.

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