The Maine Legislature voted down a invoice that may have restricted large-scale groundwater pumping within the state. Poland Spring, the bottled water large, had lobbied aggressively towards the measure.
The proposal would have positioned a 10-year restrict on large-scale water extraction contracts, a restriction that supporters of the invoice mentioned would defend Maine's valuable groundwater at a time when water ranges are falling all through the nation. It did not cross on Thursday by a vote of 21 to 12 within the State Senate.
Poland Spring, a significant presence in Maine, attracts water from eight areas across the state to bottle and promote. It’s attempting to shut a brand new contract for as much as 45 years to pump water in Lincoln, a former mill city.
BlueTriton — which owns Poland Spring and different main bottled water manufacturers, together with Arrowhead and Deer Park — lobbied towards the adjustments. Final 12 months, the New York Occasions reported that the corporate drafted, and circulated amongst lawmakers, a proposed modification that may have gutted the invoice.
BlueTriton is financially backed by personal fairness funds One Rock Capital Companions and Metropoulos & Co., which paid $4.3 billion in 2021 to purchase Nestlé's bottled water enterprise within the Americas the North
The invoice ended up within the full Legislature, the place BlueTriton continued its lobbying. For instance, a flyer circulated by a Polonia Spring lobbyist to lawmakers famous that the state lawyer common's workplace had mentioned it inspired native water utilities “to signal agreements to promote water each time it’s worthwhile to take action.” Nevertheless, William S. Harwood, Maine's lawyer common, mentioned in an electronic mail interview that he helps the 10-year restrict. An earlier model of the invoice had referred to as for a seven-year restrict.
In response to questions, BlueTriton mentioned it stood by the statements within the round, calling it “a fact-based explanatory doc.” The corporate additionally mentioned it had “a devoted workforce of geologists, hydrogeologists and engineers who work intently with state and native water companies and environmental organizations to guard and preserve water as a renewable useful resource.”
The invoice was voted on within the Maine State Home and Senate, with Republicans voting towards it, together with many Democrats. Margaret M. O'Neil, a Democrat from Saco, southern Maine, who sponsored the invoice, mentioned: “Mainers don’t need Poland Spring to lock our communities into dangerous offers, and definitely not dangerous offers that final for many years.”
Mark Lawrence, a Democrat who led the committee that thought of the invoice and voted towards it within the state Senate, and Trey Stewart, the Republican Senate minority chief who additionally voted towards it, didn’t reply to requests for remark. requests for feedback.