News Feature | June 22, 2016

Amid Opposition From Locals, Nestle Abandons Poconos Project

Dominique 'Peak' Johnson

By Peak Johnson

Amid community opposition to the project, Nestle Waters has abandoned its plan for a proposed water extraction facility in the Poconos in Pennsylvania.

For its Deer Park spring water brand, Nestle had wanted to withdraw 200,000 gallons per day from two wells on private property in Eldred Township, according to an article by the Associated Press appearing in

Residents had been worried that the water company’s operation would damage wells and the environment. In response, Nestle has said that its own studies showed that the project was actually sustainable.

Nestle official Eric Andreus had told township supervisors that the project created “design and logistical challenges.”

"It's been a long journey and unfortunately we weren’t able to proceed with the project," Andreus told the Pocono Record.

Nestle had applied for a special exception zoning permit application for the development of the Chestnut Springs project. Andreus cited several reasons for abruptly ending the project, with zoning being a top reason.

“One of them was the challenges trying to design our project around an existing business to insure we comply with the zoning ordinance. There are some subjective criteria that made it challenging. The lack of community support for the project and the concerns of the project were also a factor in our decision,” Andreus told the Pocono Record.

Andres said in a written statement that Nestle “believes strongly in partnering with communities to create shared value by providing economic and community benefits.”

"It is clear to us that the community in Eldred Township does not believe the process around this project worked the way it was intended and that many of you have concerns about this project. We want you to know that we hear you,” Andreus said.

The now defunct project is the second loss for Nestle in a month, according to The Morning Call. In May, an Oregon community where the company wanted to open a plant voted to ban large-scale industrial bottling.

Andreus acknowledged community opposition against Nestle.

"We have not been successful in gaining the same acceptance here in Eldred Township as we have in other communities that host our operations, and our partner in this effort has also expressed his reservations about moving forward," according to a copy of Andreus' statement provided to The Morning Call by Nestle.

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