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Safeguard groundwater (letter to Sun Journal)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008, Sun Journal

The editorial “Poland Spring paradox” (Sept. 23) was deeply disappointing. While claiming to provide a balanced perspective on a difficult issue, the piece was actually a thinly-veiled defense of Nestle Waters/Poland Spring’s operations in Maine.

Concern for Maine’s groundwater is not the non-issue the editorial asserts. Absent adequate protection at the state level, citizens in one town after another are organizing locally to protect their water from this foreign-owned company. Nestle Waters/Poland Spring repeatedly states that the company will not go where it is not wanted, yet continues to extend its reach without regard for local community sentiment.

The Rangeley region knows this only too well. After a three-year battle to safeguard the community’s water and roadways, including an appeal to Maine’s Supreme Court, community sentiment continues to run high.

Today, at the request of many local residents worried about the health of their aquifer and weary of around-the-clock tanker traffic, a number of key Rangeley businesses are refusing to sell Poland Spring water, and many individuals and groups are hard at work in support of neighboring communities that believe they have a responsibility to protect the interests of their citizens.

Nestle Waters/Poland Spring treats Maine’s groundwater not as a vital public resource, but as a private cash cow.

Maine deserves better.

The battle to safeguard our groundwater now moves to the Maine Legislature.

Cathryn L. Thorup, Sandy River Plantation

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