Dear Editor:

Open letter to Nestlé Waters North America.

Your permit has expired, and with Nestlé Waters North America on the market, we are not interested in negotiating an extension with you or an unknown buyer.

Touted community giving: The nearly 190,000 water bottles you brag about donating is an impact, not a benefit. 

Your financial contributions to local organizations are a drop in the bucket. 

Your “philanthropy” is an attempt to satisfy unmet permit criteria in which benefits must outweigh losses. 

Few citizens of Chaffee County benefit, yet board members from some non-profits who do receive benefits (GARNA and Support Our Salida Schools) have still dared to speak up against you. 

Chaffee County has heart and can’t be sold.

Touted replacement water: In a letter to the editor, you said, “We source Rocky Mountain spring water in Chaffee County to create what we believe to be a superior, sustainable product.” 

Yet your recent full-page newspaper ad claims the water you extract is “replaced” with augmented water from Twin Lakes reservoir, which we can all agree is not the same quality water.

Touted conservation easement: You were granted a permit in 2009 in part based on your “Natural Resource Manager’s” promise to put the land into a conservation land easement, including conserving nearly a mile of river frontage property. 

Instead, you recently traded that property, allowing for construction of a small subdivision. 

After more than a decade of failing to fulfill your promise, you now want to use an easement again as a bargaining tactic.

Touted care for your property surrounding Ruby Mountain Springs: The land you purchased in 2009 is currently valued at less than $140,000. 

Yet in 2009 you paid a landowner nearly $3 million for it. Why? You then invested another million cleaning up an old fish hatchery on the property. 

Caring for your own land surrounding the springs is a benefit to your business. 

You have not been in compliance with land management plans regarding noxious weed mitigation and grazing requirements.

Touted recycling study investment: Investing in a local recycling study does not change the fact a global brand audit found Nestlé to be among the top three plastic polluters. 

China no longer accepts U.S. plastic waste, so finding a market these days is a challenge. 

Take more corporate responsibility rather than externalizing costs to consumers. 

Chaffee County currently pays transportation costs for our community’s recycling efforts.

Touted truck driver jobs: You are out of compliance with the permit criteria to hire 50 percent of your drivers from Chaffee County. 

Last year you employed just five local drivers, including drivers you relocated.

Your recent suggestion that the local college could use $50k of “seed money” to implement a mountain truck driver training course is laughable. 

Graduates of this hypothetical program would still not be hired based on requirements that drivers have three years of experience. 

In your “intense advertising” endeavors to find local drivers, have you ever taken out a full-page local ad?

Jen Swacina

Salida