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Bottled Water Company Admits Dumping Deadly Arsenic Into CA’s Ecosystem—Nobody Goes To Jail

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Bottled Water Company Admits Dumping Deadly Arsenic Into CA’s Ecosystem—Nobody Goes To Jail

Crystal Geyser Natural Alpine Spring Water’s bottled parent company, CG Roxane, LLC, pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful storage of hazardous waste and one count of unlawful transportation of hazardous material on January 9th. Yet, to date, not one person has spent one night in jail for releasing thousands of gallons of arsenic into California’s wastewater system.

Elemental arsenic and arsenic sulfate and trioxide compounds are classified as “toxic” and “dangerous for the environment” in the European Union under directive 67/548/EEC. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) recognizes arsenic and inorganic arsenic compounds as group 1 carcinogens, and the EU lists arsenic trioxide, arsenic pentoxide, and arsenate salts as category 1 carcinogens.

This extremely dangerous and potentially deadly practice of dumping the arsenic into the California ecosystem has essentially gone unpunished.

The company earns nearly $50 million per year in revenue from its spring water but was slapped on the wrist, some might say, with a $5 million penalty for discharging arsenic tainted water back into the ecosystem. The legal problems started for Crystal Geyser when it sourced spring water from the Sierra Nevada Mountains nearly two decades ago.

That water was and still is poisoned with arsenic as is much of the water in Western states. The company used sand filters to remove the arsenic. But in an effort to increase the filters’ effectiveness the company washed out the sand filters with chemicals, removing the build-up of arsenic, and releasing it into an outdoor holding pond. Yes, that’s right folks. They filtered out the arsenic, and then put it right back into the ecosystem in a concentrated form.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Is Bottled Water Safe to Drink, Everyday?

Is Bottled Water Safe to Drink, Everyday?

Photograph Source: Sascha Kohlmann – CC BY-SA 2.0

The next time you put your lips to a plastic bottle of “crystal-clear mountain spring water” think about Trump’s herculean efforts to dismantle federal agencies that protect health.

More to the point, Trump’s innate distrust of science is already starting to impact health risks, e.g., according to Consumer Reports (“CR”) excessive levels of arsenic are found in some bottled water that should have been spotted by federal regulators, and not by Consumer Reports.

As it happens: “The federal government’s safety inspections of water bottling facilities hit a 15-year low in 2017, according to documents CR obtained through a public records request.”

The referenced CR headline: “Arsenic in Some Bottled Water Brands at Unsafe Levels, Consumer Reports Says,” June 28, 2019. More on that travesty, later.

Meanwhile, because Trump is doing everything possible to take federal regulations back to the “Sixties,” then Rachel Carson’s inimitable The Silent Spring (1962) should be required reading for every household in America because she exposes the dangers of 60 years ago that are, once again, starting to be exposed today. To say that this is a remarkable event is, indeed, remarkable!

Rachel Carson has never been more relevant, in fact doubly more relevant, e.g., according to The Silent Spring, page 237: “Human exposures to cancer-producing chemicals (including pesticides) are uncontrolled and they are multiple. An individual may have many different exposures to the same chemical. Arsenic is an example… It is quite possible that no one of these exposures alone would be sufficient to precipitate malignancy— yet any single supposedly ‘safe dose’ may be enough to tip the scales that are already loaded with other ‘safe doses.”

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Nestlé’s Profits Trump Clean Water in Flint

Nestlé’s Profits Trump Clean Water in Flint

Screw the people of Flint, or so goes the mantra of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), which last month approved a controversial permit that will allow Nestlé to pump and bottle 400 gallons of fresh water per minute from the state’s White Pine Springs, near the Osceola Township. Meanwhile, back in Flint, residents still aren’t buying the Governor’s bullshit that their water is safe to drink.

The privatization of the public’s water is only becoming more prevalent as reservoirs dry up around the globe. Bottled water sales have skyrocketed in the last ten years while access to fresh, affordable H20 has decreased. In places like Cape Town, South Africa, which is in the midst of a dire water shortage, it’s not just climate change that’s making the city quench for thirst — the impoverished can’t afford private water but residents with money are able to subsidize their meager rations.

“Many of the rich own water-bottling companies, they can afford to buy water,” Ebrahiem Fourie of the Cape Town Housing Assembly recently told journalist Dahr Jamail. “The available ground water [springs] are usually in affluent areas, which makes them easy to access, and with the current water restrictions the rich have cars to load their water.”

Mega-corporations like Coca-Cola and Nestlé may seem like a nice solution for communities that don’t have access to clean drinking water. Their water is potable, portable and generally safe. However, as we are witnessing in Cape Town, private companies in the water business cater to those with cash. The poor are left out to dry. Deals like Nestlé is scoring in Michigan won’t fix the water problem in Flint — which is one of the poorest communities in the nation — it will likely exacerbate it.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Why America’s Deadly Love Affair with Bottled Water Has to Stop

Last year, Americans drank more than 10 billion gallons of bottled water. Wildlife and the environment paid.

This spring, as California withered in its fourth year of drought and mandatory water restrictions were enacted for the first time in the state’s history, a news story broke revealing that Nestlé Waters North America was tapping springs in the San Bernardino National Forest in southern California using a permit that expired 27 years ago.

And when the company’s CEO Tim Brown was asked on a radio program if Nestlé would stop bottling water in the Golden State, he replied, “Absolutely not. In fact, if I could increase it, I would.” That’s because bottled water is big business, even in a country where most people have clean, safe tap water readily and cheaply available. (Although it should be noted that Starbucks agreed to stop sourcing and manufacturing their Ethos brand water in California after being drought-shamed.)

Profits made by the industry are much to the chagrin of nonprofits likeCorporate Accountability International (CAI), a corporate watchdog, and Food and Water Watch (FWW), a consumer advocacy group, both of which have waged campaigns against the bottled water industry for years. But representatives from both organizations say they’ve won key fights against the industry in the last 10 years and have helped shift people’s consciousness on the issue.

A Battle of Numbers

In 2014 bottled water companies spent more than $84 million on advertising to compete with each other and to convince consumers that bottled water is healthier than soda and safer than tap. And it seems to be paying off: Americans have an increasing love of bottled water, particularly those half-liter-sized single-use bottles that are ubiquitous at every check-out stand and in every vending machine.

 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

Bottled Risk

Bottled Risk

Over the last 15 years, the bottled-water industry has experienced explosive growth, which shows no sign of slowing. In fact, bottled water – including everything from “purified spring water” to flavored water and water enriched with vitamins, minerals, or electrolytes – is the largest growth area in the beverage industry, even in cities where tap water is safe and highly regulated. This has been a disaster for the environment and the world’s poor.

The environmental problems begin early on, with the way the water is sourced. The bulk of bottled water sold worldwide is drawn from the subterranean water reserves of aquifers and springs, many of which feed rivers and lakes. Tapping such reserves can aggravate drought conditions.

But bottling the runoff from glaciers in the Alps, the Andes, the Arctic, the Cascades, the Himalayas, Patagonia, the Rockies, and elsewhere is not much better, as it diverts that water from ecosystem services like recharging wetlands and sustaining biodiversity. This has not stopped big bottlers and other investors from aggressively seeking to buy glacier-water rights. China’s booming mineral-water industry, for example, taps into Himalayan glaciers, damaging Tibet’s ecosystems in the process.

Much of today’s bottled water, however, is not glacier or natural spring water but processed water, which is municipal water or, more often, directly extracted groundwater that has been subjected to reverse osmosis or other purification treatments. Not surprisingly, bottlers have been embroiled in disputes with local authorities and citizens’ groups in many places over their role in water depletion, and even pollution. In drought-seared California, some bottlers have faced protests and probes; one company was even banned from tapping spring water.

Worse, processing, bottling, and shipping the water is highly resource-intensive. It takes 1.6 liters of water, on average, to package one liter of bottled water, making the industry a major water consumer and wastewater generator. And processing and transport add a significant carbon footprint.

Read more at https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/bottled-water-environmental-risk-by-brahma-chellaney-2015-09#vsAZZry1Ks9YteRY.99

 

Forest Service Official Who Let Nestle Drain California Water Now Works For Them

Forest Service Official Who Let Nestle Drain California Water Now Works For Them

NestleAn ongoing investigation by The Desert Sun into Nestle’s contentious bottled water operations in drought-stricken California first disclosed that the company’s permit to draw water had a rather astonishing expiration date that occurred over a quarter century ago, in 1988. Recently, the Sunreported an update in the investigation with a jaw-dropping twist: the Forest Service — not Nestle — is the agency primarily responsible for failing to renew Nestle’s permit.

In fact, judging by the government agency’s complete inability to even review Nestle’s long-expired permit — not to mention the lucrative job a retired Forest Service supervisor currently enjoys — there is an arguable case that collusion and corruption are at the heart of the entire issue.

Forest Service officials shirked their duty to review the company’s long-expired permit by conducting numerous meetings about what was needed t0 initiate necessary procedures — but never once followed through with a single proposition to completion. Even the basic legality of allowing a private company to use federal land for the extraction and bottling of water for profitable sale was once called into question by several officials.

Letters, emails, and meeting notes clearly mark a number of instances where the review process and various studies of the environmental impact from continued collection of the spring water were initiated between 1999 and 2003 — but not followed up by any action. In fact, nothing in these documents offers definitive answers for the inexplicable lack of action on every aspect of the Arrowhead permit. Forest Service officials have given plenty of excuses — citing everything from a tight budget to limited staffing — for the reason other concerns were given priority.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

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