Congratulations to Washington State, which will become the first state in the nation to put a total ban on new water bottling operations that would plunder the state’s natural resources for corporate profit. The state Senate recently passed a bill banning new water bottling permits throughout the state. Washington state Sen. Reuven Carlyle, who sponsored the bill to ban bottling companies from extracting groundwater, is quoted as saying, "I was jolted to the core to realize the depth and breadth and magnitude of how they have lawyered up in these small towns to take advantage of water rights.”

Does this sound familiar? Our small town of Mount Shasta has been challenged for over five years by Crystal Geyser’s attempts to begin water and juice bottling operations on the edge of town, just outside the city’s jurisdiction.

As Craig Jasmer, a leader of the Lewis County Water Alliance in Washington says, “Pumping water out of the ground, putting it in plastic bottles, and exporting it ... is not in the public interest.”

This is all the more true in this time of world-wide plastic pollution and global climate disruption largely caused by fossil fuels. Let’s find paths to “economic development” that come without such high costs to local autonomy and to local and global environmental health.

Apparently, the tide is turning against bottled water manufacturers, with similar bills introduced in Michigan and Maine, and local measures introduced in Oregon and Montana. How about California, or at the least, Siskiyou County?

[Quotations in this letter are from an EcoWatch article: www.ecowatch.com/bottled-water-ban-washington-2645192473.html]

Molly Brown

Mount Shasta