Nestlé Waters Chaffee County Project update

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Click here to read Lee Hart’s analysis of last moment tactics from Nestlé Waters before the Chaffee County Commissioners approved the 1041 permit.

Here’s a release from Nestlé Waters via

On August 19, Chaffee County Board of County Commissioners unanimously directed County legal counsel to prepare resolutions of approval for Nestle Waters North America to produce spring water for its Arrowhead Spring Water Brand.

Nestle Waters has been actively engaged in Chaffee County since 2007. In November 2008, the company applied for a Special Land Use Permit (SLUP) and 1041 Permit. The process has included numerous public hearings, extensive community dialogue, thousands of pages of scientific, economic, and ecological and environmental data collection and research. The process is thorough, comprehensive, and involves the review of a number of different independent consultants and agencies with diverse areas of expertise, and the review and approval of the Planning and Zoning Commission and Board of County Commissioners.

“Chaffee County is a special place, we appreciate the many community members we’ve had the privilege to meet who have provided valuable advice and helped to shape our project to better fit this community,” said Bruce Lauerman, Nestle Waters North America’s Natural Resource Manager in Colorado. “We have a unique opportunity to protect a natural water resource, preserve beautiful open space, create local jobs and provide additional funds for education and other needs in the local community.”

For nearly two years, Nestle Waters has been working together with local residents, conducting site tours, and reaching out to local agencies and businesses to tailor this project to best fit the needs and desires of Chaffee County citizens. Included as part of its permit application, Nestle Waters voluntarily added a comprehensive community giving effort that will provide: a $500,000 endowment for local education initiatives; a permanent conservation easement to protect Nestle’s 115 acres along the Arkansas River; in-stream fishing access at the Ruby Mountain and Bighorn Spring Sites; multi-million dollar local contracts to Chaffee County construction companies to construct the five-mile pipeline; programmatic annual giving to locally identified needs in the community; opportunities for environmentally-focused field work with local college and high school students; a comprehensive, wildlife-habitat restoration project of the old Ruby Mountain fish hatchery (which will incorporate a number of local agencies and interested groups); and a commitment to hire at least 50% of its truck drivers from the local area.

As part of the conditions of its 1041 and SLUP permits, Nestle Waters will be required to provide a comprehensive land management plan of the spring sites, to include the hatchery restoration, surface water and groundwater monitoring and mitigation plans, protection of bighorn sheep habitat, streambank and wildlife friendly fencing, and other environmental, construction, and land use conditions. Long-term hydrologic monitoring, initiated in 2007 will continue throughout the life of the project.

“We appreciate the efforts made by the County Commissioners, Planning Commission, and Staff during this lengthy and complex permitting process,” said Lauerman. “We look forward to continuing our partnership with this community and working together to benefit the Arkansas River Valley for years to come.”

For more information about Nestle Waters North America’s operations in Colorado, please visit:

More Coyote Gulch coverage here and here.

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