Perrier trumps local activists

| Tue Sep. 26, 2000 2:00 AM EDT

The bottled water industry is big business, and often a big bummer for the environment. But that didn't stop the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources from granting Perrier rights to dig two high-capacity wells in the state, despite extreme opposition from local citizens, according to Wisconsin's CAPITAL TIMES. Now the locals are threatening the Dpeartment of Natural Resources with a lawsuit.

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9/20 - Executions can be fun! There's been plenty of public pressure on the DNR to deny Perrier the right to dig, including two referenda, a recall election, lots of local protest, and some tough words from the attorney general. But the DNR says its hands are tied. It's only allowed to consider state law, not local referenda, in its decisions it claims, and the state laws limit the department's ability to say no to many potential wells.

In fact, DNR officials say, locals should count themselves lucky that Perrier was willing to voluntarily submit to any restrictions on drilling, since the law doesn't give the state agency the muscle to impose any.