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Maine Communities Fight Nestle Over Water, and Win! (audio)

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This month, two major victories were won by local communities over corporate control of their water supply. In Shapleigh and Newfield Maine, Nestle’s Poland Spring water company removed all of its bottled water test wells after residents passed ordinances blocking the company from mining water within their boundaries, asserting that residents control their own water supply. In Michigan, nine years of legal battles ended earlier this month when Nestle settled with the group, Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation, agreeing to reduce its water removal to half of its originally intended amount.

This is not the first time that communities have tried to fight Nestle’s grab for their water. Nestle sought to extract water in McCloud, CA, offering to pay residents only one-thousandth of a cent per gallon, until the state’s Attorney General intervened. And in Wells, Maine, residents proposed an ordinance similar to the Shapleigh and Newfield ordinances, but in that case, Nestle convinced local business owners that the provisions limiting the powers of corporations would hurt them as well.

As communities across the United States struggle to control their own natural resources, most lack the power to reign in corporations. According to environmental lawyer Thomas Linzey, laws supporting corporate rights and legal use often prevent communities from limiting or banning extractive industries.

GUESTS: Shelley Gobielle, Protect Our Water and Wildlife Resources, Tom Linzey, Environmental Lawyer with the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund

Source: Uprising Radio

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