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Centre County Planning Director Correspondence with Eric Andreus of Nestle Waters

Excerpted from Email 9, emphasis added.

E-mail 9

BOB JACOBS, CENTRE COUNTY PLANNING DIRECTOR, TO ERIC ANDREUS, NESTLE WATERS; JENNIFER MYERS, CBICC; and MARGARET GRAY, CENTRE COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR

  • From: Robert B. Jacobs [mailto:rbjacobs@centrecountypa.gov]
  • Sent: Wednesday, November 29, 2017 12:42 PM
  • To: Andreus,Eric, Breinigsville,NWNA T&P MID Springs <Eric.Andreus@waters.nestle.com>; Jennifer Myers (Jennifer@cbicc.org) <Jennifer@cbicc.org>
  • Cc: Margaret N. Gray <mngray@centrecountypa.gov>
  • Subject: CBICC meeting follow up
  • Importance: High

Eric, Jen,

It was a pleasure meeting with you folks yesterday [Tuesday, November 28].

As a follow up, here is some info as you move along in your planning process…

I reviewed the zoning ordinances in Benner and Spring Townships. Please see the attachments for my comments below:

Benner Township

Benner Township has Campus Industrial and Light Industrial zoning districts in the Benner Commerce Park. Both districts provide for “Manufacturing, packaging, storage and/or wholesaling” as a permitted use by right.

Although bottling water isn’t a specific use identified in either district, I would argue that it fits this permitted use category.

The definition of “Manufacturing” in the Benner ordinance clearly provides for your proposed activity:

Manufacturing – Production of goods from raw materials, by the assembly of constituent parts produced elsewhere, or by a combination of these means, including the final packaging such goods for sale or shipment. Includes all activities included in the NAICS (q.v.) list of “manufacturing” activities.

Spring Township

Likewise, Spring Township has Light Industrial and Heavy Industrial zoning districts. The site you are considering is located in the Light Industrial district. This district does not specifically provide for your proposed activity. However, it allows for “medical device manufacturing”, “Pharmaceutical production and packaging”, and “Warehousing and wholesale trade establishments”.

These permitted uses by right in my opinion are in the same category of activity that you are proposing.

The Heavy Industrial district does provide for “Any production, manufacturing, assembly, processing, cleaning, repair, storage, or distribution of goods, materials, foodstuffs, and other products not involving a retail activity except as an accessory use” The definition of “Manufacturing” in the Spring ordinance clearly provides for your proposed activity:

Manufacturing use – The processing and/or converting of raw unfinished materials or finished materials or products, or any combination of them, into an article or substance of different character, or of use of a different
purpose. Additionally, the term manufacturing shall include industries furnishing labor in manufacturing or in the refurbishing of manufactured articles. This use includes apparel and textile products, chemicals and allied products, electric and electronic equipment, fabricated metal products, food and kindred products, lumber and wood products, machinery, paper and allied products, petroleum and coal products, stone, clay and glass products, textile mill products, tobacco products, transportation equipment and miscellaneous industries including the manufacture of jewelry, silverware, musical instruments, toys and sporting goods, office and art supplies, costume jewelry, notions, etc.

The Light Industrial district in Spring Township may need to be amended but the intent of the district is to provide for your proposed activity – based on the information in their ordinance I would make the request for a permitted use by right.

Recommendation

You could make the argument in both Townships that your proposed activity is intended as a permitted use by right in all of the industrial zoning districts. Most likely they do not want to go through the ordinance amendment process (advertising, public hearings, etc.) for your proposed use because in my opinion it is not necessary.

I would use the info above to make your request as a permitted use by right. If you would like assistance with this, please let me know and we can discuss this with the municipalities.

If you have any questions, or require additional information please let me know.

Regards,

Bob

ERIC ANDREUS, NESTLE WATERS, REPLY TO BOB JACOBS, CENTRE COUNTY PLANNING DIRECTOR, CC: MYERS; GRAY

  • From: Andreus, Eric, Breinigsville,NWNA T&P MID Springs [mailto:Eric.Andreus@waters.nestle.com]
  • Sent: Friday, December 01, 2017 2:12 PM
  • To: Robert B. Jacobs; Jennifer Myers (Jennifer@cbicc.org)
  • Cc: Margaret N. Gray
  • Subject: RE: CBICC meeting follow up

Bob,

I apologize for the delayed response to your email. It was a pleasure meeting you as well.

Thank you for the information provided during our meeting and in the follow up email below. I appreciate you interpretation of the zoning ordinances relating to manufacturing facilities.

I will contact you if I have any additional questions as we conduce due diligence. Have a nice weekend.

Sincerely,

Eric

EDITORIAL OPINION

Mr. Jacobs’ opinions are bullshit, intended only to help Nestle circumvent public review.

Spring Township Documents

Key findings so far:

November 22, 2017 Spring Township Water Authority Minutes

11.22.17 Spring Twp Water Minutes

NEW BUSINESS:

Nestle Water – Doug Weikel*, Chairman, reported Nestle Water would like to purchase non-chlorinated water from The Authority. They are looking at other areas as well, however, with the new well site they are willing to pay for the pipeline and a replacement well in addition to the water. This would be a benefit to The Authority. They have submitted an Access Agreement to give them the right to have their contractors and consultants complete their own testing to prove the water is directly from a well non chlorinated etc. After some discussion, it was on a motion of John Schiffhauer seconded by Gary Catalano to approve ratifying the access agreement. Unanimously approved motion carried.

December 20, 2017 Spring Township Water Authority Minutes

12.20.17 Spring Twp Water Minutes

SOLICITORS REPORT:

John Miller, Solicitor – Mr. Miller reported he reviewed the Loan Documents and the Access Agreement with Nestle Water and has no comments, document is fine.

CORRESPONDENCE/INFORMATION:

Nestle Water – Doug Weikel, Chairman, reported He has talked with Eric Andreus of Nestle Water and they are at 99.9% go, will perform draw down test next. He will be at the January meeting to introduce himself and explain status.

*According to a Spring Township citizen who attended the January Spring Township Water Authority Board meeting, Doug Weikel is the chair of the Spring Township Water Authority and worked for Nestle in Stroudsburg, PA as an engineer.

The citizen who attended the meeting said Weikel did all the talking at the January water authority meeting and stated there will be no public hearing or meeting to allow citizens to weigh in on the proposed deal with Nestle.

Stop Nestle – Talking Points

This flier will also be available at the Nittany Valley Environmental Coalition/Sierra Club table at PASA:

CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA SAYS NO TO NESTLE!!

Nestle, a multinational company that promotes corporate ownership of global water supplies, wants access to millions of gallons of our clean, safe water in order to sell it at a 300-2000X premium in exchange for about 50 jobs that may or may not materialize (and will, if Nestle fully automates its plants, disappear in time). In exchange, we assume the risk of losing ground water in times of shortage and will bear the brunt of environmental externalities.

PROTECT THE FUTURE OF PUBLIC WATER!

  • Access to clean, safe and affordable water is a human right. Does Nestle see it that way? No! Nestle’s CEO, Peter Brabeck, has clearly asserted that clean water is not a human right but a “foodstuff commodity” with values assigned by corporations.
  • What would a Nestle water bottling plant mean for us?Nestle would purchase about 300 gallons of water per minute from the Spring Township Water Authority and sell that water at 300-2000 times the price per gallon that public water customers currently pay. Most of that water would be distributed outside the region.
  • Does Nestle care about communities? Private control means little public control. As California and British Columbia suffered devastating droughts, Nestle continued extracting tens of millions of gallons of water while public users were required to reduce use. See this BBC article, and this CBC article.
  • Bottled water is inefficient and environmentally destructive. The plastic needed to supply American consumption of bottled water requires 17 million gallons of oil equivalent per year, which contributes 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide, equal to the emissions of 400,000 cars. It takes three liters of water to produce one liter of bottled water. Millions of tons of plastic bottles end up in landfills each year. Americans throw out 75% of all plastic bottles.
  • What about jobs? In truth, the water bottling industry as a whole creates few jobs, most of which are given to workers from outside the community. Jobs that residents do get tend to be low-paying and unsafe.

Presently, the water that we can access from our taps in Central Pennsylvania is some of the cleanest and safest water in the country. That quality of water is the result of appropriate public management and robust enforcement of environmental regulations. It is ours by right, and it is the responsibility of our elected local governments to continue maintaining and delivering safe, clean drinking water – not to sell it off to private companies.

Nittany Valley Environmental Coalition Tabling at PASA

Nittany Valley Environmental Coalition has a new website and will be tabling at the PASA (Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture) this coming weekend, with the Sierra Club.

A new informational handout about the organization that will be available at the table.

Our Mission

Our Mission is to protect our constitutionally-guaranteed environmental rights as Pennsylvania citizens.

Our Rights and Duties

Article I Section 27 of the Pennsylvania Constitution states:

“The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and aesthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania’s public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come. As trustee of these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people.”

In support of these rights, the citizens of State College Borough and Ferguson Township have amended their home rule charters to include more extensive rights: a Community Bill of Rights adopted in 2011 by State College voters, and an Environmental Bill of Rights adopted in 2012 by Ferguson Township voters.

Our Goals

  • Maintain public water purity and abundance
  • Prevent urban sprawl to preserve our region’s small town and rural agricultural character, farmland, open space and the beauty of our natural environment
  • Build public understanding of our constitutionally-guaranteed environmental rights, and threats to those rights.
  • Prevent or mitigate air pollution in the face of global warming
  • Prevent or mitigate agricultural soil destruction.

Our Tools

Our tools include public information campaigns, dialog with decision-makers, direct action campaigns against polluters and sprawl developers, and if necessary, litigation against local violations of our environmental rights as Pennsylvania citizens.

Our Subcommittees

The Nittany Valley Water Coalition (NVWC) is a committee of the NVEC. For three years, the NVWC fought Penn State, Ferguson Township and Toll Brothers over the sale of 45 acres of priceless agricultural land perched above the wellfields that provide two-thirds of the drinking water for State College Borough Water Authority’s customers. This sinkhole and karst-filled farmland was sold by Penn State to Toll Brothers in December 2017.

Toll Brothers plan is to develop “luxury student housing” on our watershed.

After three years of activism and lawsuits, Toll Brothers is moving forward with this development, but our actions have raised broad public understanding of water rights, the costs of sprawl to the community, and corporate Penn State’s lack of stewardship of public natural resources. We assert that Penn State should not convert its farmlands to high-density housing, but should use them instead to promote agro-ecological farming.

The NVEC is a 501(c)4 non-profit organization.

Donations are appreciated: Nittany Valley Environmental Coalition, 539 E. Foster Ave., State College PA 16801

Email: nvec2018@gmail.com or visit: http://nittanyvalley-eco.org