Join The Protest- Speak Out Against Nestle/Blue Triton’s Permit Violations

Greetings Fellow Activists!  

Nestle Waters/Blue Triton Brands (NW/BTB) Is presenting a summary of their 600 page annual report to the Chaffee County Commissioners at their meeting on Tuesday April 19th and we want you to be there to protest, informed and ready to speak!

3 Things To Know For This Meeting.  

1)  The “Annual Report” is a summary of NW/BTB’s operations this past year and acknowledges how they addressed permit conditions, water pumping in drought, where money was deposited etc.  They are obligated to submit and present on this each year, and the commissioners are to ensure they are in compliance with the terms of their permit, and not causing harm to the community or watershed. NW/BTB has a number of ongoing violations that have been ignored, and we need to demand accountability. 

2)    You have a say on this!  Your public comments on this nearly 600 page document  are due in writing by Friday April 15th.  Or can be presented in person at the meeting.  We would also like to request the comment period is extended after the meeting for two weeks.   Jen Swacina, of Unbottle Protect Chaffee County Water, has done a heroic job reviewing this report in short order, and has condensed and highlighted problematic sections into 21 pages for your use.  You can read over her notes by clicking here

3)    This is an in-person Board of County Commissioners meeting in Buena Vista, that will also be hosted on Zoom.   We will be protesting with signs out front, and attending the meeting, and need you there!  Please bring your signs, reusable water bottles, and organize a carpool with your friends to attend this important event.  The media is informed of this protest.  Please read below for more information on participating.  
Ready your pens,
Bring your signs,
and Prepare To Speak Out! 

Every year, Nestle/Blue Triton Brands is obligated to present their “Annual Report” to county commissioners on their operations, and despite the obvious detriment to our community, Nestle/BTB is not being held accountable for their failures to comply with the permit.  WHY?

If the commissioners were motivated to cancel the 1041 permit, based on years of failure to meet basic standards, THEY COULD.  Maybe it’s time ask why they haven’t.  Local citizens are kept under tight scrutiny for domestic well use, small backyard ponds, land use permits, etc.– so why is an operation draining the local watershed of drinking-quality water not held to the same standards?
  Has your pond, well, or other water right been highly scrutinized or drawn into question?  Come speak out at this meeting and insist that water use standards are applied consistently, and used to protect our valley’s watershed, not badger citizens.  

There is a clear difference between small amounts of water doing natural work in the ecosystem as a pond or irrigation resource and 62,465 gallons of water being entirely removed from our watershed every day, and sold for huge profit.  We question if the county receiving money from this corporation has perhaps impacted how standards are applied.   Furthermore, we would like to know why the money received from NW/BTB STILL HASN’T BEEN USED FOR THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT PLAN that would set standards everyone in the county would follow in regards to land use and protection.   

When delivering your comments to the commissioners, it is important to focus on the ongoing permit violations, demand accountability, and question why these ongoing issues have been ignored.  Jen Swacina, of Unbottle Protect Chaffee County Water, has done a heroic job reviewing this nearly 600 page document in short order, and condensed and highlighted problematic sections into 21 pages for your use.  You can read over her notes by clicking here. 

  Attend in-person at the Buena Vista Community Center, 715 E Main St., Tues, April 19 (This is on the agenda for 1pm, we will be meeting out front with signs at 12:30pm)
Or, you can  join the online Zoom: 
 Or, you can submit written comments before noon on Friday, April 15th to the county commissioners and to the county, (contacts listed below).

 Here are some compelling stats from the full annual report:

Water-hauling trucks get 6 miles per gallon, and in 2021, they made 2,725 trips between the Truck Loading Facility in Johnson Village and the Denver bottling plant. Only 3 of their truck drivers live within 25 miles of Chaffee County. Anecdotal evidence suggests these trucks are in excess, not following safe driving rules, and slowing traffic.

Water monitoring systems were noted as non-working, or interrupted by beaver activity, for yet another year, yielding inaccurate data.

The use of the term “spring water” was quietly replaced with “ground water” which appears to acknowledge the operation is draining an aquifer, not capturing flowing spring water, as previously argued  

Still no conservation easement, as promised in 2009, “concurrent with construction of the project.” 

Eight noxious weeds were identified on their property (in violation of grazing plan.)

 In 2021, they pumped on average 62,465 gallons of water per day in an area that was classified as being in extreme drought conditions

NW/BTB donated 42,099 single-use plastic bottles of water in 2021 to organizations in Colorado as a “benefit”, despite the fact they will pollute our landfills for decades to come, and polluted Colorado’s air in their transport and manufacture.  The corporation of course takes a tax write off for this “donation”. 

Greg Felt
Commissioner District #2
gfelt@chaffeecounty.orgKeith Baker
Commissioner District #1
kbaker@chaffeecounty.orgRusty Granzella
Commissioner District #3 Brandy Coscarella
Administrative Assistant
Beth Helmke
Public Affairs Officer

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