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Wells, Maine


dropPoland Spring urged public officials to express support for water ordinance
from Seacoast Online, 11/19/09
WELLS — Poland Spring’s use of an overt advertising campaign to connect with voters before a widely-debated vote on Election Day wasn’t the only way the company sought support leading into a Nov. 3 referendum, according to records from the Wells Ordinance Review Committee.

The company’s Portland-based public relations firm, Barton & Gingold, also corresponded with town committee members to help bolster support for a large-scale water extraction ordinance that would have regulated any contract in town to withdraw water for bottling purposes, according to municipal e-mails obtained in a Freedom of Access Act request.

On Oct. 13, the Coast Star asked the town of Wells and members of the Board of Selectmen and Ordinance Review Committee to provide public e-mails …Click here to read the rest of the article.

 

dropE-mails point to influence
from Seacoast Online, 11/19/09
A Nov. 3 vote on water-rights in Wells already is well behind us, but we return to the issue this week with a story on communications between Poland Spring and a handful of town officials.

We stumbled across the story, as we report, after Jason Heft of the Ordinance Review Committee forwarded our way via e-mail a letter to the editor.

The letter stood out because it was signed by Heft but appeared to have been written by Corey Hascall of Barton & Gingold, the public relations firm out of Portland that has represented Poland Spring in its efforts to find new sources of spring water in southern Maine …Click here to read the rest of the article.

 

dropVoices of Reason forms, disbands
from Seacoast Online, 11/19/09
WELLS — With so many groups fighting against water extraction in Wells, several residents and business people decided they wanted the other side of the issue to be heard, and so they formed their own group, Voices of Reason…Click here to read the rest of the article.

 

dropGlossy campaigns sometimes wear thin
from Seacoast Online, 11/05/09
Like Mayor Bloomberg in New York, who only narrowly held onto his seat Election Day despite spending more than $100 million of his own money on his election campaign, it’s hard not to wonder whether many Wells voters who rejected the proposed water ordinance were just fed up with the slick campaign Poland Spring led this fall.

Earlier this year plans for an ordinance that would have banned Poland Spring and its parent company, Nestlé, from taking water from Wells for bottling purposes, was soundly rejected during a special general referendum.

Then, just a short while later, incumbent Joan Mooney, the most outspoken anti-Nestlé member of the Board of Selectmen at the time, was ousted in the local election…Click here to read the rest of the article.

 

dropWells Water Ordinance Defeated: A Blow To Poland Spring
from WGME, 11/03/09
Voters in Wells have said no to an ordinance that would have allowed large scale pumping of ground water within the town of Wells.
Yes Votes: 1422, No Votes 3199. That means 69% of voters said no to the ordinance.
Poland Spring had hoped to pump water from the town’s aquifers…Click here to read the rest of the article.

 

dropWells’ water-extraction proposal outlines rules, protections
from Portland Press Herald, 10/28/09
Wells voters will decide Tuesday on a proposal to regulate large-scale groundwater extraction in town.

The issue has been the subject of intense debate since details of a now-defunct agreement between Poland Spring and the local water district emerged more than a year ago.

The ordinance would apply to daily water extraction of 20,000 gallons or more, less than the 50,000-gallon state threshold for a permit. The rules would not apply to water extraction for agriculture, public schools, homes or businesses that don’t sell water for consumption outside Wells. Permits would last for three years…Click here to read the rest of the article.

 

dropWater activist warns against allowing Nestle in
from Seacoast Online, 10/22/09
WELLS — Nestle Waters North America, parent company of Poland Spring, was in the crossfire at a crowded Oct. 22 presentation at the Wells Activity Center, just 12 days before a local vote that could affect how the company is able to conduct business in town.

Hosted by local water-rights activists and attended by more than 50 people, the presentation detailed the legal battle between a Michigan water-rights group and Nestle.

That battle was eventually settled in July 2009, after years in court.

Terry Swier, the president of Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation, said her group felt that Nestle Waters’ day-to-day bottling operations would hurt the water supply and the environment, so they took the company to court…Click here to read the rest of the article.

 
dropWater extraction regs to go to Wells voters
from the Journal Tribune, 9/2/09
WELLS — Residents will decide whether to adopt water extraction regulations for the Town of Wells at the Nov. 3 election this year, after selectmen voted 4-1 Tuesday to send the ordinance forward on the ballot.

The regulatory ordinance, drafted by the Ordinance Review Committee, outlines the permitting process for any entity that seeks to withdraw water within allowed zones. The Board of Selectmen voted to not allow extraction in the General Business District and Rural District – in areas east of Route 1 – at their last meeting.

The ordinance defines large-water extraction as 20,000 gallons, or more, per day, and that is the threshold at which an extractor would need a permit.

Selectmen Chairman Richard Clark voted against sending forward the ordinance, because he believed…Click here to read the rest of the article.

 
dropWells selectmen make changes to water ordinance draft
from the Seacoast Online, 8/20/09
WELLS — A lengthy debate about a proposed ordinance that could regulate companies like Poland Spring in town turned heated among selectmen during a meeting Tuesday, Aug. 18.

While selectmen listed off specific concerns about the so-called regulatory ordinance that would govern who has rights to water and how much, the board’s chairman raised an issue…Click here to read the rest of the article.

 
dropPlanning Board moves water ordinance forward
from the Seacoast Online, 8/20/09
WELLS — An ordinance at the heart of a local water-rights debate headed to the Board of Selectmen with a unanimous recommendation by the Planning Board.

After dialogue with selectmen Monday night, Aug. 17, a state Department of Environmental Protection employee and the town attorney, the Planning Board forwarded the document on with a handful of amendments.

Major changes to the document…Click here to read the rest of the article.

 
dropWAKE-ing up in Wells: Group seeks to serve as government watchdognew
from the Seacoast Online, 7/30/09
WELLS — Backed by a former selectman, a new resident-based watchdog group was organized this July with the aim to push for open and honest government in town.

The group, the Wells Association for Knowledge and Education, or WAKE, was born out of discontent with some of the ways the town of Wells operates, as observed by the chairman of the association, Joan Mooney.

“The underlying cause is that there is a pursuit by some of us to inform citizens about what’s going on in town in a timely way,” said Mooney in a July 28 interview at her Post Road home. “Instead of complaining and arguing about what’s going on, we want to make it clear to officials about what the citizens …Click here to read the rest of the article.

 
dropletWells selectboard hearing June 2, 2009
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dropWells voters reject water regulations
from the Seacoast Online, 5/21/09
WELLS — A sea of card-waving residents at a special Town Meeting on Saturday rejected a proposed ordinance that could have helped stop companies like Nestlé Waters North America/Poland Spring from withdrawing water for bottling purposes…Click here to read the rest of the article.

 
dropFuture of Wells water still murky
from the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram, 5/19/09
Poland Spring officials are still hoping to bottle water from an aquifer in Wells, even though the trustees of the Kennebunk, Kennebunkport and Wells Water District aren’t eager to revisit the idea.

For Poland Spring, the opportunity to develop a water source in Wells still exists after voters at a special town meeting rejected a ban on water extraction by corporations. The company, a subsidiary of Nestle Waters North America, interpreted the results of Saturday’s vote as evidence that residents are open to the idea.

Activists who support the ban, meanwhile, said residents are still opposed to the sale of water…Click here to read the rest of the story.

 
dropWells rejects ban on water extraction
from the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram, 5/17/09
WELLS — Voters here rejected a proposed ordinance Saturday that would have banned companies such as Poland Spring from extracting water from town aquifers.

The proposal also contained language explicitly denying corporations broad rights contained in the Maine and federal constitutions, and bestowing rights on ecosystems located in Wells…Click here to read the rest of the article.

 

dropWater vote pending in Wells
from WGME Channel 13, 5/17/09
Wells voters rejected a proposed ordinance Saturday that would have effectively prevented the Poland Spring company from using the town as a water source.

The vote was taken during a special town meeting held at Wells Elementary School.

Emotions ran high during the meeting, and there were frequent outbursts…Click here to watch this story.

 
dropWells voters say no to Poland Spring ban
from the Seacoast Online, 5/16/09
WELLS A sea of card-waving residents at a special Town Meeting on Saturday voted down a proposed ordinance that would have helped stop companies like Nestle Waters North America and its subsidiary Poland Spring from withdrawing local water for bottling purposes.

Many voters were turned away or simply left before voting because the crowd overflowed from the Wells Elementary School cafeteria, where the meeting took place…Click here to read the rest of the story.

 
dropWells Water Vote A Hot Issue
from WCSH Channel 6, 5/16/09
WELLS (NEWS CENTER) — Voters in Wells turned down an ordinance Saturday that would have banned any corporation from extracting or selling water from within the Town.

Nestle Waters, which owns Poland Spring, is talking with the Town about extracting water from a nearby aquifer.

Saturday’s public meeting was for discussion and to hold a ‘show of hands’ vote on the ordinance which was ultimately turned down by a large majority.

Supporters say they were not given a fair chance to share their concerns because a large number of people were stuck in the hall, unable to move into the crowded gymnasium…Click here to watch this story.

 
dropWater vote pending in Wells
from the Seacoast Online, 5/14/09
WELLS — There’s been a fervent battle to inform residents about the legalities of an ordinance that’s up for a town-wide vote May 16.

The ordinance at hand — central to a divisive battle over how water should be governed — is…Click here to read the rest of the article.

 
dropVote to test corporate water rights
from the Portland Press Herald, 5/11/09
A key battle in Maine’s ongoing war over water will be decided in Wells on Saturday.

Voters at a town meeting will decide whether theirs will become the latest community to ban water extraction by companies like Poland Spring.

Rather than trying to regulate water extraction, the ordinance takes a “rights-based” approach…Click here to read the rest of the article.

 
dropMAY 8th Wells Water Forum
Desal statement 295 Wells water rights forum
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dropPoland Spring feels the heat in Augusta
from the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram, 5/7/09
The State House is the focus of the battle over bottled water this week.

Poland Spring is fighting a number of measures as lawmakers consider proposals ranging from a tax on bottled water to a bill that would allow local communities to deny corporations their constitutional rights. The proposals come as the water bottler has also had to contend with the recession, growing public distaste toward plastic bottles and opposition to its activities in a number of Maine communities…Click here to read the rest of the article.

 
dropGuest editorial: Rights-based ordinance would protect our water
from the Seacoast Online, 5/7/09
We have embarked upon another era of international trade in America. Much like the last era of international trade that cost Americans their jobs, lifestyles and quality of life, this new era of international trade is hot on the trail of our natural resources — primarily water…Click here to read the rest of the article.

 
dropWater group forces special town meeting in Wells
from the Seacoast Online, 5/7/09
WELLS — Hundreds of residents have backed a citizens petition that overrides a Board of Selectmen decision and calls for a special Town Meeting to vote on a rights-based water ordinance.

The petition, filed with the town clerk’s office Friday, May 1, puts the fate of a water extraction ordinance directly into the hands of voters…Click here to read the rest of the article.

 
dropWise move on water by Wells selectmen
from the Seacoast Online, 4/23/09
Debate over who has rights to water in our local communities has been raging ever since word got out last year about a possible deal between the Kennebunk, Kennebukport and Wells Water District and Nestlé/Poland Spring.

Arguments have sprung up on all sides of the issue. Some contend…Click here to read the rest of the article.

 
dropWells activists push for water-extraction ban
from the Seacoast Online, 4/16/09
WELLS — A moratorium on large-scale water extraction is set to expire May 4, but a few dozen individuals rallied before a budget workshop Tuesday to support getting that temporary ban extended.

In an effort to allow the public time to have another say on the 180-day moratorium, the town had…Click here to read the rest of the article.

 
dropPublic hearing called in Wells to extend moratorium
For those who were not able to attend but were curious about Tuesday’s vote two days ago in Wells here is the clip:
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dropWells Ordinance Review committee meeting on Monday, April 13th
Wells Ordinance Review Committee meets to work on a regulatory ordinance, which is like the ordinance in Denmark Maine. What you do not see in the video is Mark Dubois who was sitting behing the ORC members with his laptop. They are trying to get this to the selectmen by April 24th.
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dropWater petition rejected by Wells selectmen
from the Seacoast Online, 4/09/09
WELLS — There are two schools of thought on how water extraction should be governed in town — rights- and regulatory-based — but sentiment expressed by the Board of Selectmen on Tuesday made it clear there are uncertainties with each…Click here to read the rest of the article.

 

dropWells narrows in on bottled water regulations
from the Seacoast Online, 3/11/09
WELLS, Maine — While large-scale water extraction is temporarily banned in town, by this summer it could be allowed — with regulation…Click here to read the rest of the article.

 
dropRestrictions on water extraction debated in Wells
from the Seacoast Online, 2/19/09
WELLS — The water extraction debate has intensified as officials and residents have begun to consider an ordinance to put before voters in June.

Supporters of the Save our Water, a group formed to oppose the sale of ground water for bottling, urge an approach that specifically bans certain corporations from any extraction, known as a rights-based ordinance…Click here to read the rest of the article.

 
dropWells Water Rights Ordinance
Click here to download this Microsoft Word document.Word Document46kb.

 
dropThomas Linzey Talk : Maintaining control over resources Part 1YouTube Preview Image
Part 2
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dropWells caps tapping water
from the Kennebunk Post, 11/21/08
During the Nov. 4 election, 68 percent of Wells voters voted to enact a 180-day moratorium on all
water extraction activities allowing time to develop a town ordinance in regard to water extraction…Click here to download a pdf of this article.

 
dropWells charter process begins
from the York County Coast Star, 11/13/08
WELLS — Implementation is in the air in Wells since voters approved a new charter that changes the way town government operates…Click here to read the rest of the article.

 
dropWells to begin work on water protections
from the York County Coast Star, 11/13/08
WELLS — Voters in Wells overwhelmingly passed a six-month moratorium on large-scale water extraction throughout town on Election Day.

 
The moratorium was the result of a citizens’ initiative that…Click here to read the rest of the article.

 
dropWells voters adopt town charter
from the York County Coast Star, 11/6/08
WELLS — Voters overwhelmingly approved the proposed town charter on Tuesday, paving the way for a transition in 2010 from open town meeting to a secret ballot referendum method of governing.

They also approved a six-month moratorium on large scale water extraction in Wells, culminating a citizen uprising…Click here to read the rest of the article.

 
dropWells, Maine Votes Down Corporate Water
from Food & Water Watch, 11/6/08
Press Release: As water companies are on the prowl for new water sources, the latest development is a victory for local control. On November 4, Wells residents cast their ballots in favor of a 180-day moratorium on all water extraction activities…Click here to read the rest of the article.
Photo of Joe
Joe Hardy speaking at an educational forum in Wells, ME, on 10/30/08.

 
dropsoh2o asks wells to vote yes on 3 moratorium
http://www.soh2o.org/WellsOct30summarypiece.flv
dropFrom SWIM:

Their page on the Town of Wells, which includes a detailed description of the watershed.