Save Our Groundwater not alone in USA Springs opposition

To the editor:Many of us in the state have appreciated NHBR’s steadfast coverage of the USA Springs Inc. case over 11 years. The case remains the first major test of our state’s groundwater protection law.However, the most recent article (“USA Springs auction set for July 20,” May 31 about the company’s upcoming bankruptcy auction gives entirely too much credit to Save Our Groundwater’s “expected legal and political challenges” while excluding the considerable effort and expense that the municipalities of Nottingham and Barrington have invested in the case along with more than a decade of state legislators, local officials and many other community organizations.Both towns felt it critical to the health and economic future of their communities to engage attorneys, groundwater specialists and many others to keep the groundwater from being shipped out of the watershed. The Barrington Chamber of Commerce voted that they did not want this business in town. The Nottingham Planning Board recognized the proposal as one of regional impact and 10 towns were deemed abutters due to the three watersheds involved. Our state senators and representatives joined us in meetings and assisted us with navigating the shoals of Concord.We all were united and determined that the water from our communities was not for sale and worked together to protect it.Let us not forget that hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars were invested to protect our water. There were cases at the Superior Court and Supreme Court levels. There were Water Council and Wetlands Council administrative hearings. There were multitudes of Department of Environmental Services filings.Today, Nottingham is owed more than $300,000 in back taxes and penalties. Their taxpayer dollars still go to an attorney to recoup this.Save Our Groundwater is for protecting water in the public interest. We do not believe that water, essential to all life, must become a commodity. We do not believe that New Hampshire’s watershould be controlled by foreign corporations or bought and sold on international markets. Because we are for protecting our communities’ water, we came to believe that the water bottling project was not a good deal for our towns or the water underneath them.But we are hardly the only ones.Denise HartClerkSave Our Groundwater Board of Directors

Categories: Cook on Concord, News