Residents protest water extraction in Eldred Township
At least 150 residents and interested parties showed up at Wednesday's Eldred Township Board of Supervisors meeting to express their concern with Nestle's proposed water extraction plan for Chestnut Springs.
Nestle currently has a test well drilled and according to its website the company is "testing and monitoring" the quality of the water before deciding if the creek would be appropriate for an extraction site.
"At this time, I want to stress, there is nothing before this board to vote on," said township solicitor, Michael Kaspszyk. "There is no request for permits, nothing at this time."
"I believe that you dropped the ball," resident Vern Barlieb said.
"On March 27, 2014 the ordinance permitted water extraction in an industrial area only, on May 1 the ordinance was changed and you opened the door to this."
There was clearly some concern with the adoption of the ordinance. Attorney Kaspszyk suggested that if residents should look into challenging the change if they believe that it was procedurally inappropriately enacted.
"Please keep in mind that this would be a special exception permit," said Supervisor Mary Anne Clausen.
"It's not like they can just walk in and do whatever they want. You need to get your concerns together and be ready so when there is a zoning hearing you, the citizens bring your concerns to the right place."
"Also keep in mind that it's not just Eldred Township, but DEP and the Delaware Basin Commission will also have to issue permits," Clausen said.
One resident said he googled 'Nestle water disputes' and found several complaints, including in California, where there are drought conditions.
Nestle has set up a satellite office at the Eldred Township Community Center and welcomes residents to stop by to get information on the project.