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Eldred Township Residents Grill DEP, DRCB On Nestle Water Extraction Plant

ELDRED TOWNSHIP — A community in Monroe County continues to make its opposition heard to a water extraction plant moving into their neighborhood. The Nest...
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ELDRED TOWNSHIP -- A community in Monroe County continues to make its opposition heard to a water extraction plant moving into their neighborhood.

The Nestle Company wants to draw spring water from Eldred Township for its Deer Park bottled water.

With fears high over the future of their water, residents' tempers were boiling over.

“You have no idea, even though you're the head of the program, how many applications you get?” yelled a resident.

“I'm not arguing. I'm asking for information,” said another.

People packed into the Kunkletown Fire House for an informational meeting with the state Department of Environmental Protection and the Delaware River Basin Commission.

This meeting comes as the Nestle Company is asking to build a water extraction plant on Chestnut Ridge Drive to take the water from the Chestnut Springs for its Deer Park bottled water.

Many people in the area live off wells and fear they will dry up or be harmed.

“We're scared to death. My property adjoins where they're drilling. They've drilled 15 test wells, since then I've had sulfur in my water,” said Donna Deihl.

DEP and DRBC met with residents simply to take questions on how they review water extraction permit applications.

“We look at impacts to the local wells. We look at truck traffic in the area. All that's involved in whether or not we approve a permit like this,” said Colleen Connolly with DEP.

“It's not just emptying out the people's wells, it's also the trucks that will be coming on our little roads and bridges,” said Shirley Krum.

Representatives with Nestle were also there, not to answer questions, but to listen to concerns.

“I think this is a great opportunity to learn more about the stringent water withdrawal permitting process that both the DEP and DRBC regulations require,” said Eric Andreus, a hydrogeologist with Nestle Waters.

Still some say they'll wait to hear all sides before making a decision.

“I want to hear everything before I think one way or the other at any point in time,” said Helen Meckes.

Nestle has yet to file a permit application with the two regulatory agencies. It has filed a zoning permit application with Eldred Township.

Township officials said a hearing on that has yet to be scheduled.