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Questions to Be Answered about Nestle Waters

by and on March 12, 2018 5:00 AM

PLEASANT GAP — When Nestle Waters announced it planned to potentially open a water bottling facility in Centre County earlier this year, it left many with questions. The international company plans to answer some of those questions at an information session on Monday. Local environmental groups plan to hold a meeting on Wednesday to talk about their concerns regarding the plant and its effect on the environment.

The company is looking to open the factory in either Benner Township or Spring Township and becoming a customer of the Spring Township Water Authority. Eric Andreus, Nestle Waters regional natural resource manager, has been studying the water shed for the past couple of months. He and a panel of experts will be available to answer questions at the Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Monday.

Questions can either be submitted by filling out a question card at the information session or in advance by emailing Those who submit questions are asked to include their names and township residences. Nestle said it will respond directly to questions the panel is unable answer during the session.

Nestle released an economic impact report in February highlighting that 110 jobs will be required to run the plant, including 50 new direct jobs that would pay an average salary of $58,000.

These numbers may sound good, said Kelli Hoover, Nittany Valley Environmental Coalition president, but there are many questions that need to be answered about the impact of a possible bottling plant concerning the environment and the economy. The coalition has gotten together with the Sierra Club Moshannon Group to organize a “No to Nestle” meeting, also at CPI, at 7 p.m. on Wednesday. They will discuss the impact of the potential plant and the concerns that many have about it.

NVEC is committed to preserving the area's water resources and protecting the environment in Centre County, said Hoover. She said the group has large concerns about the amount of water that Nestle plans to extract from the watershed, and the potential environmental impact that it may cause.

The 300 gallons of water per minute that Nestle plans to use for two bottling lines amounts to .3 percent of the total output of the water shed according to Andreus, and as of February he said it looks positive that that the watershed could support that amount.

Hoover said that amounts to more than 400,000 gallons a day, which will certainly affect the area.

“You can’t take that much water out of a watershed and it not have an impact. Think of the local trout fishing that is so popular in this area. This in one of the top fishing location in the country and to have that amount of water removed from our watershed, how could it not have an effect?” said Hoover.

Besides the loss of the water, Hoover also wonders about the impact of large trucks moving that water out of the county.

“People have to think about the cost on the roads with a high volume of trucks running day in and day out,” said Hoover. “It will be like fracking country.”

Clearwater Conservancy in State College has concerns about the potential plant that have not been answered yet. In a statement, the group said: “Based on our values, we believe the concept of an industry dependent on continuous extraction and export of our region’s groundwater raises questions and concerns that have not yet been adequately addressed. While our region’s groundwater system recharges over time, there are many factors that impact the rate of recharge and the amount of water available. Drought, commercial and industrial demands, population growth, and climate change all impact the reliability of our water supply.”

These are some of the concerns that the groups hope will be answered at the meetings.

Andreus said the company will hold educational workshops about water ecology and sustainability and work with the community to better it. “Nestle Waters is committed to being good stewards of the resource, and a positive presence in the community,” he said.

After the information session, the company will have employees available to answer individual questions concerning economic benefits, jobs at Nestle Waters, sustainable water management, community relations and more.

This story was produced by the staff at the Centre County Gazette. It was re-published with permission. The Centre County Gazette is a weekly publication, available at many locations around Centre County every Thursday morning.

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