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Free-Market Fallout | Who Owns Water? | WWatch | Bold Strokes


MANATEES GET A BRAKE. Just four months after winning new federal protections for the West Indian manatee, Florida environmentalists have notched another victory for the endangered sea cow. In May the state Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission set new go-slow zones in some of the manatee’s favorite Brevard County waterways. Thanks to an April settlement with the Save the Manatee Club and 17 other groups, including the Sierra Club’s Florida Chapter, the state must also assess eight other boating areas and establish additional safe havens for manatees, with even tighter restrictions. (See “Home Front,” May/June 2001.)

BOTTLED UP. When Perrier announced plans to build a water-bottling plant in Adams County, Wisconsin, its neighbors-to-be weren’t pleased. Concerned about the environmental problems the industry has created in other communities--including overpumping of springs, saltwater intrusion in groundwater, and sediment disturbance--area residents joined a nationwide boycott of the Nestlé-owned corporation. In May, Perrier took the hint, declaring that it would table the project, for now. The victory was tempered by the company’s announcement that it would seek to build its plant near Big Rapids, Michigan, instead. (See “Lay of the Land,” May/June 2001.)

COW FACTORY FOILED. While central California’s San Joaquin Valley is one of the richest agricultural areas in the world, it also has some of the worst air quality in the nation. Last year, the Sierra Club and the Center on Race, Poverty, and the Environment filed suit against Borba Farms to halt plans for a 28,000-cow operation near Bakersfield. The facility would have produced a million gallons of liquid manure per day and thousands of tons of air pollutants each year. In May, a judge put the kibosh on the bovine behemoth, declaring that Kern County had not adequately considered its environmental impacts. (See “Meat Factories,” January/February 1999 and “Home Front,” November/December 2000.)

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