Ordinarily, the WHEA email group list is only used for union and district matters, but every once in a while there is an issue that is larger and more important.
If you have not heard about the deal between Niagra Water Bottling Co. and the town of Bloomfield and the MDC, you need to be aware. This affects every user of water in the entire MDC area.
I attended an informational meeting last night along with dozens of other concerned citizens, several school board members, several town council people, and Senator Beth Bye. The goal of the meeting was to learn what is happening and to plan the beginnings of a strategy to stop this deal.
The details are disturbing in terms of lack of transparency and also lack of state laws protecting our precious water supply. Niagra intends to begin bottling our water as early as this November and shipping it out of state. They will also be manufacturing the plastic bottles at this site. There is growing outrage about this and I am not the expert on this subject but here are a few highlights:
1. Senator Bye is drafting a bill or bills that will: A. Prevent the discounting of water to for profit corporations such as Niagra (Yes…because they would be a large user..the largest in the area…they will be paying less for the water than the residents of the area) B. During times of drought, industry will be asked to conserve just like residential customers are (at present there are no such laws that would restrict water usage by industry in times of drought) C. Arrangements like this would have to go through a much more public process…this deal has been kept suspiciously quiet.
What can you do? 1. Learn more by visiting Facebook and searching for “Bloomfield citizens”…sign the petition 2. Listen for news about the public hearing on Beth Bye’s bill then submit testimony in person or in writing. 3. Attend the next informational meeting this Thursday at6:30 at the senior center auditorium in Bloomfield at 330 Park Ave. 4. Become part of the solution…the people who spoke at the meeting last night (mostly Bloomfield residents, are open to suggestions and would love some help with creating a website and using social media to spread the word) They can be reached at BloomfieldCitizens@gmail.com
Note: MDC supplies water to Bloomfield, West Hartford, East Hartford, Hartford, Newington, Rocky Hill, Wethersfield, and Windsor. If Niagra succeeds, they will be bottling over 1 million bottles of our water PER DAY. More that 200 tanker trucks of water will be visiting the site PER DAY to mix spring water with our water for bottling.
Also: No laws appear to have been broken, but the way in which this deal was made is highly suspicious. Niagra has attempted to build plants in other towns around this country and have been defeated in many of them. For more info, please visit this site:
Written by Ronnie Newton of Weha.com who was in attendance Monday night. Some good information here. Please note the last paragraph about a hearing at MDC HQ tonight. And also a facebook page that you can use to get more involved if you wish.