Hot News from the Egan Slough Community
See Daily Interlake Article Read Here
See KPAX Video and Article Read Here
On March 20, 2018, Montana 11th District Court Judge Robert Allison ruled in favor of Egan Slough area property owners, granting them summary judgment against the Board of Flathead County Commissioners. The lawsuit was prompted by the Board’s failure to implement citizen initiated zoning intended to protect the Egan Slough area.
In the decision, the Court chastised the Commissioners for siding with the owner of a proposed water bottling plant, Lew Weaver, to the exclusion of other interests. “The public’s comments, which were overwhelmingly in favor of the petition, addressed many different topics including preservation of agricultural land, water quality and quantity, open space, wildlife, general environmental concerns, tourism, Flathead County’s Growth Policy, and property values. Some members of the public attempted to address why they believed the Weavers’ water bottling plant would be detrimental to the area and why the Egan Slough Zoning District should be expanded to protect the area from industrial uses. However, the Board cut off many of these comments. Yet the Board then used the property rights of the Weavers to use their land as they see fit as part of the basis for their rationale…It is an abuse of discretion to consider the property rights of one landowner to the exclusion of other landowners and the county overall.”
The Court also faulted the Commissioners for failing to evaluate the evidence put in front of them by members of the public. “In addition, the Board dismissed expert reports provided by the public regarding some issues, property values for example, without providing any factual basis for doing so. At least one member of the Board seemed to dismiss the reports simply because he did not believe them; yet there is no evidence in the record to dispute the reports’ findings or to provide any evidence whatsoever to the contrary. While the Board has discretion to weigh the comments and evidence before them, complete dismissal of expert reports without any evidence to dispute those reports lacks fact and foundation, is unreasonable, and is an abuse of discretion.”
The Court remanded the matter to the Board for reconsideration, with strict instructions that the Board must review all public comments as well as the Flathead County Growth Policy, and address the issues the public raised in its decision.
The proposed water bottling plant recently obtained a permit from Montana DNRC to bottle 1.22 Billion bottles of water annually, operating 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. The issuance of that permit is currently under litigation.
Egan Slough Community member Amy Waller said “This is a great day for farms and water in the Flathead. We are very pleased with the Court’s decision and thankful for and inspired by the continuing support of residents across the Flathead as we focus on the June 5th election. It is more important than ever that Flathead County voters vote For Initiative 17-01 to add to the Egan Slough zoning district”.
What’s in bottled water?
Note: The response by the bottling industry is very similar to the responses that have preceded the establishment of tobacco-cancer links. They assert that there is another study showing other results, it hasn’t been fully peer-reviewed, and there is not scientific consensus on the matter.
Think before you drink!
Judge to decide Egan Slough lawsuit this month
From the Egan Slough Community:
Thank you to all the supporters who showed up at the court hearing Monday, February 26th, challenging the legality of the Flathead County Commissioners’ decision to deny the expansion of the Egan Slough zoning district.
Egan Slough Community’s side of the court room was packed, and the judge commented at the beginning that “this isn’t a wedding…you can sit on both sides of the courtroom.” Thanks so much for the strong showing of support! We think the County Commissioners’ attorney and Lew Weaver’s attorney struggled to answer the judges questions because the commissioners’ actions are indefensible.
Our attorney presented an all too familiar case of our County Commissioners ignoring the public interest and abusing their discretion as elected officials. The judge said he would make his decision by the end of March.
Montana NPR Egan Slough Community News…
Ruling On Creston Water Bottling Plant Zoning Lawsuit Expected In March
Call to Action from Egan Slough Community:
Please attend the hearing 9:00 a.m. Monday morning Feb 26
Please support Egan Slough Community’s lawsuit against the Flathead County Commissioners by attending the Summary Judgement Hearing at 9:00 a.m., February 26 at the Flathead County Courthouse, 920 S. Main Street, Third Floor, before Judge Allison (a bulletin board will indicate which room on the day of the hearing).
Egan Slough Community would appreciate a strong showing of public support at the District Court hearing where Judge Allison will begin deciding if the three Flathead County Commissioners abused their discretion when they denied the petitioner’s request for the Egan Slough Zoning District extension.
Egan Slough Community is trying to hold the commissioners accountable for ignoring the public testimony and the record before them, both of which clearly showed that adding to the Egan Slough Zoning District would be in the public interest for the many reasons presented, including preserving Creston’s prime farmlands, protecting fish and wildlife habitat, and safeguarding our water from incompatible development such as the bottling plant and other industries. Please sit on the appropriate side of the court room indicating you support Egan Slough Community. Let’s all wear blue!
Also, Phil Mitchel’s hearing is February 26 and we encourage you to attend that as well to let the judge know that Flathead County citizens expect elected officials to obey the law.
Save the Dates Now Feb 16th & 17th!
Peter Mayer Benefit Concert for Water for Flathead’s Future
Peter Mayer will be performing in Kalispell on Saturday, February 17th in a benefit fundraiser to assist Water for Flathead’s Future mount it’s ongoing case against the water bottling plant outside of Creston, MT. For details, visit the information page Here.
DNRC Rules in its own favor 1/26/2018
Today, Water for Flathead’s Future was notified that the Montana DNRC has upheld its own previous decision to grant the water permit for the annual extraction of 710 acre-feet of water from the shallow, intermediate, and deep aquifers of the Flathead Valley. Expert witness testimony was clearly presented before the DNRC’s hearing examiner outlining the connection between the water extraction proposal and the degradation and depletion of surface water bodies in the Flathead Valley. Wells will be affected; creeks and wetlands will be disrupted; wildlife habitat will be further diminished. Water security of the residents of the Flathead Valley has been given up for the profit-seeking of one landowner.
The resulting message, courtesy of the DNRC, has now been sent to all potential water extractors across the land that the Flathead Valley is open for business if they want to drill their wells and expropriate the water resources that we, as a community, rely on for our tourist economy, our farmland irrigation, and the foundation necessary to carry forward sustainable community growth. Combined with the county’s unwillingness to respond to the pleas of the community to preserve its right to clean and adequate water, it is clear that Flathead County is almost totally unprotected against the predatory practices of the water bottling industry.
Read more Here
Dates and Information of Note
Read our late January 2018 update Here
Read our late December 2017 update Here
Also please look at our new link to our world-class Consultants
Future Music Benefit for WFF
Volunteer Help Needed!
Please Donate to our Cause!
Volunteer for events or donate by mail or online
See this link Donate Here
Thanks to all the volunteers who helped with the pumpkin patch project!
See the new KPAX Hearing Video
Hydrological models scrutinized in bottling-plant hearing
Nestlé Makes Billions Bottling Water It Pays Nearly Nothing For
The Montana Artesian Water Company’s plan to bottle Creston’s groundwater drew fresh scrutiny Tuesday morning.
See Sept 19th Daily Interlake Article
MT Artesian permit hearing opens Sept. 19th
Read the DNRC release HERE
Read our Sept 15th “The Good Fight Goes On” update Here
DEQ approves water bottling discharge permit
See this Link
Read DEQ’s response to comments
See this Link
We have 60 days to object to this permit which is a continued failure of the DEQ to protect us.
The DEQ permit means nothing if the people win before the DNRC.
The DNRC hearing is on September 19 at FVCC.
So don’t think this is a done deal…
Because it’s not!
Let’s continue to come together as a community to support to fight against this water theft!
Tuesday September 5th 2017, concerned citizens filled the county Commissioner’s chambers during the public comment period to let our voices be heard. We were asking them once again to do the right thing and approve the Egan Slough Zoning district.
Once again our Commisioners refused to respond to their constituents.
The public comment narrative is located at this Audio Link.
Water for Flathead’s Future is a separate organization but we believe that this is a very worthy cause in support of maintaining a healthy and sustainable use of water in the Flathead Valley.
The following is a message from YES! for Flathead’s Farms and Water:
A Call to Action!
FLATHEAD COUNTY, Let your County Commissioners hear your voice during their public comment period.
APPROVE YES! FOR FLATHEAD FARMS AND WATER’S PETITION INITIATIVE TO EXPAND EGAN SLOUGH ZOING DISTRICT, NOW.
Ask them to do the job they were elected for, and stand up for our constitutional rights to protect life and property, and stop supporting the the bottling plant that threatens the farm and water resources we all value in this beautiful valley.
WHERE: Flathead County Commissioners (Office 800 S. Main St)
WHEN: (Tues) Sept. 5th
*Our Flathead Country Commissioners still have until Sept. 8th to approve the Initiative and expand the Egan Slough Zoning District without having to put it on the June 5th ballot. The majority of Flathead county voters elected these Commissioners to office and the majority of Flathead County voters want them to expand the zone.
This move by Commissioners would show that they are listening to the people they work for and hearing our message: We want them to expand the zone, now!
The Montana Artesian Water Company’s permit asks for an amount that would make it one of the largest water bottling plants in the U.S.
By Joe Brenneman //
Click below to read…
Opposition to Water Bottling Factory Goes Forward
See latest WFFF developments at link below…
Flathead Voters will Decide Whether to Expand Special Zoning District that
Would Limit or Preclude Proposed Business Venture
According to the July 1, 2017, Flathead Beacon, a ballot initiative will move forward after the group Yes! For Farms and Water collected enough signatures to qualify its zoning proposal as a countywide ballot initiative, garnering support from more than 15 percent of Flathead County’s registered voters.
The Flathead Beacon, further states that the group launched its petition on March 29 in response to permits sought by Lew Weaver, the Creston man interested in turning his farmland into the Montana Artesian Water Company.
Great New Article, look under News or click below…
This is an interesting article about a Nestlé bottled water factory in Stanwood, Michigan that produces up to 1,200 bottles a minute. The factory is served by seven nearby wells drawing up to 250 gallons of spring water a minute.
Keep in mind, as you are reading this article, that on page 25 of the DNRC permit application “The Montana Artesian Water Company” intends to bottle 450 gallons per minute which is almost twice as much as the Michigan plant. Click Here for Article
Sign the petition!
Yes! For Flathead Farms and Water
Is collecting signatures on a petition to place initiative 17-01 on the ballot this fall.
If successful, Flathead County voters will have the opportunity to vote on Resolution 1594C to add property to the Egan Slough Zoning District to preserve the agricultural character of the area and limit incompatible uses.
If this resolution passes, industrial facilities, such as water bottling factories, would not be permitted within the expanded district.
It would also preserve prime Creston farmland and the scenic setting along the Flathead River.
Volunteers are needed to collect signatures on election day and until the 27th of June.
Please contact Amy Waller at firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help.
Please Donate to Water For Flatheads Future
Every little bit helps! Please donate what you can! Help us keep up the fight!
Read the latest WFFF updates at this link…