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News :: Environment
Sad Times for NH's Water
06 Jul 2004
06 Jul 2004
Save Our Groundwater regrettfully announces that the state of NH issued a large groundwater withdrawal permit to USA Springs, Inc, despite years of protest, education, and general flat out resistance.
On July 2nd, NH state issued a large groundwater withdrawal permit to USA Springs, Inc. to pump more than 307,000 gal/day from our aquifer once certain conditions are met.

This is after three years of staunch community resistance; a pump test that drew volatile organic compounds, a carcinogen, further into the aquifer; a denial last August based on 27 findings, each of which was deemed sufficient to deny the permit; and a denial of the company's appeal in December 2003.

A concerned resident wrote to us today asking, "What changed?" Well, we have a new pro-business governor, we've had three commissioners of the state's Dept. of Environmental Services, the last two hand-picked by the new governor Craig Benson (who is running for re-election this fall), the company hired a sitting state legislator of the governor's political party (Republican) to represent them, and who knows what

What has really changed, as I think about this on Independence Day weekend, is the state of democracy in our country. It is no longer about by the people and for the people, if it ever was. It is no longer about people having a voice in their government and control over their local communities. It is about everyone filling their pockets with dollars in that most ancient theme of human history: greed.

But there is another story I also think about today, and that is the story of water. Here since life began and essential to all life. When I think like water, I remember that water moves stone, slowly, steadily, without haste, gently flowing, singing along its way. And eventually, the stone crumbles under water.

We too shall prevail. Not just Save Our Groundwater (SOG), but all of us engaged in protecting water for all life. NH law provides for 30 days to appeal this decision and rest assured that the towns involved and SOG will be considering our options in the days ahead.

Your support and encouragement during this time is most appreciated. I think of our water blessing ceremony last November, and ask for blessings to strengthen us for our work ahead.

If anyone would like to send a letter to local newspapers, I would recommend The Union Leader and Foster's Daily Democrat, the two with the largest circulation in our state. If you do this, please send SOG a copy. If you have other ideas about how you/your organization could help, please let me/us know.

You can read the permit itself and the 80-page decision at:

I think SOG's volunteers have been very successful in sending a consistent message out to the public, something we anticipated and planned for should this day arrive.



"In an interview today, the governor said, "I have stayed completely out of this because it is a very delicate issue and I have had zero input on this." Foster's Daily Democrat, 7/3/04

SOG NOTE: Gov. Benson's staff members Steven J. Bracy and Keith Herman (telephone:603-271-7629 as listed on the DES sign-in sheet for a 9/9/03 meeting) attended one or more meetings with the Dept. of Environmental Services concerning the USA Springs, Inc. permitting process or related Just Cause Realty Trust waste
management case.

"We've proved to the state's extensive level of scrutiny that there will not be any adverse impact on anyone's water supply from the withdrawal of groundwater from our production wells," Rontondo said. "Basically, the water we're extracting would end up in
Great Bay."
Foster's Daily Democrat, 7/3/04
SOG NOTE: Francesco Rotondo is the president of USA Springs, Inc., telephone 603-942-5660 as listed on the DES large groundwater withdrawal permit
See also:
See also:

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