Perrier trumps local activists

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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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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.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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