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PNS Daily Newscast - April 26, 2018 


President Trump’s lawyer due in court today. Also on our rundown: HUD Secretary Ben Carson proposes raising the rent on low-income families; plus we will look at efforts to address addiction in Ohio: what’s working, and what’s not.

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Debate Over Water Plant in Cascade Locks Reaching Boiling Point

The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs of Oregon are supporting a measure to ban production of more than 1,000 gallons of bottled water per day in Hood River County. (Blue Ackerman)
The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs of Oregon are supporting a measure to ban production of more than 1,000 gallons of bottled water per day in Hood River County. (Blue Ackerman)
April 26, 2016

CASCADE LOCKS, Ore. - The debate over a proposed Nestlé bottling plant in the Columbia Gorge town of Cascade Locks is reaching its boiling point.

The city is three weeks away from the results on Measure 1455, which would ban producing and exporting more than 1,000 gallons of bottled water per day in Hood River County.

If the measure passes, Aurora del Val, campaign director with the Local Water Alliance in Cascade Locks, says other cities could follow their lead by also banning large water-bottling operations.

"We don't want to set the precedent of being a bottled-water export county," she says. "But we do want to set the precedent for communities around the country."

At issue are the potential effects a large bottling facility could have on the town's water supply. Del Val says residents of towns in California, Connecticut and Montana also have contacted the alliance with similar concerns over water-bottling plants coming to their areas.

During a raucous meeting last week, the city council voted six-to-one to oppose limiting bottled-water production, saying the plant would bring jobs to the economically hard-hit town.

While Del Val says she sees the reasons for the council's decision, she's worried Nestlé could drain the town's water supply, leaving residents high and dry.

"I understand their concern about economic development," says del Val. "But we really think that nothing can hurt Cascade Locks more than trading away the security of our water supply throughout our county."

Nestlé has tried to gain the water rights to Oxbow Springs since 2008. The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs of Oregon also support the bottled-water production limit.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - OR