USA Springs Shifts Future Bottling Plant Site

Facing pressure from local New Hampshire officials, USA Springs has agreed to move the site of a proposed water bottling plant away from a wetland and homes.

The company made the decision after the town Planning Board recommended the site be moved from its planned 176,000-square-foot plant near Route 4.

The old site was about 300 feet from a large wetland which bordered a neighborhood. The new site places the plant about 200 feet from Route 4 and several hundred feet from the wetland/neighborhood area.

In July, the state granted the company a permit to draw up to 307,000 gallons of groundwater per day from three wells, but local permission for construction still is needed. Officials still are reviewing the company's project application.

USA Springs spokesman Rich Killion said he doesn’t know exactly how much it will cost to shift the site. "All we know is there's going to be an added burden of cost … It's just kind of variable," he said.

The proposed plant, which the company has been trying to build for five years, has drawn criticism from neighboring communities. Some opponents have appealed the state's approval of a large groundwater withdrawal permit to state Supreme Court.

Some residents are concerned the plant would drain drinking water wells or spread contamination through increased groundwater flow.

Killion said it is unclear whether the state Department of Environmental Services will approve the new location, saying the move also might impact wetlands.

The Associated Press

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