We request that the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council NOT award funds to the Niagara Bottling Company in this year's round of grants on December 10th.
This petition made change with 1,580 supporters!
Please sign this petition to show your support for the attached letter asking the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council (MHREDC) and Governor Cuomo NOT to award funds to the Niagara Bottling Company in this year's round of grants on December 10th.
In response to the proposed Niagara Bottling plant in the Town of Ulster, a growing number of individuals, communities, and organizations in Ulster County and New York State have swiftly come together to form a coalition. Together, the group is dedicated in promoting drinking water as a common good and protecting that right for generations to come.
Niagara wants to build a bottling facility that will process at least 1 million gallons per day (GPD) of water from Kingston's water supply at Cooper Lake, using over 25% of its capacity, and plans to truck in much more than that from springs in surrounding communities.
On December 10th, Governor Cuomo will announce the winners of the 2015 grants from the Consolidated Funding Application process. In August 2014, Niagara Bottling's proposal to build a facility in the Town of Ulster was selected as one of the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council's (REDC) "Priority Projects."
In our efforts to build a transparent, participatory process based on the facts about this project, we have learned that the proposal is being promoted without adequate analysis of its potential economic and environmental impacts.
The letter outlines the specific concerns related to the REDC's selection process, including:
1. The State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) have not yet taken place. We do not agree that funds should be awarded to a project before we know whether it could be harmful to the environment.
2. The Niagara Bottling proposal does not meet REDC's "selection criteria" such as the degree of community support for the project and whether the project supports sustainable development.
3. The Niagara Bottling proposal does not align with the REDC's strategic plan, and contradicts the plan for sustainable development in our region.
4. The economic impacts of 10-year tax exemptions (including local school and property taxes) may well outweigh the benefits of 40 to 120 below industry standard jobs, many of which are typically not offered to area residents.
Many thanks for all you do to protect our environment and support our communities!
Rebecca Martin, Chair/Founder
Jennifer Schwartz Berky, Planning and Policy Advisor
Kate Hudson, Watershed Program Director
Paul Gallay, President
Patty Goodwin, President
Kevin Smith, Chairman of the Board
Marita Lopez-Mena, Executive Director
Virginia Luppino, Outreach/Education Coordinator
Michael DeWan, Board Member
Georgia Asher, Board Member
Woodstock Land Conservancy
Leeanne Thornton, Vice President
Mary McNamara, Board Member
Esopus Creek Conservancy
Kathleen Nolan, MD, MSL Senior Reserach Director
Joseph Stelling, Environmental Campaign Organizer
Russ Haven, Esq., Senior Staff Attorney
Alex Beauchamp, Director Northeast Region Director
Food and Water Watch
Rich Vergili, Co-Chair
Helen Coyle Bergstein, Co-Chair
Giovanna Righini, Steering Committee Member
Slow Food Hudson Valley
Laurie Husted, Chair
Red Hook Conservation Advisory Council
Brenda Cagle, Town Councilwoman
Town of Red Hook, NY
Woodstock NY Transition
Joanne Steele, Chair
Mid-Hudson Sierra Club
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