STOP THE CORPORATE LEASE OF ALLENTOWN'S WATER
For More Information:
Save Allentown's Water
Food & Water Watch Allentown http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/studies/allentown-pa/
Many concerns have been expressed about a potential contract’s ability to protect the workers and our water resources. Although the Mayor says that we can all feel safe because of a potential contract between a private water company and the City, we all know that corporations find ways to get around provisions they don’t like. Everything cannot be covered in a contract Corporations default on contracts regularly. Many water companies are part of foreign corporations and NAFTA and GAP agreements, because these international trade agreements have protections that supercede local laws. These protections and provisions can be invoked may be invoked claiming that local regulations interrupt international trade! Citizens that protest when a company sells water to a bottling company rather than provide for local citizens, can be fined. With the history of The Little Lehigh River going dry during droughts and potable water becoming a limited resource, the fight for water ownership will be our biggest future battle. And we will have lost control of our water before the battle begins. Although the mayor says we have huge amounts of water, it is not it is not an unlimited resource! We already have Nestles, Niagra, and Coca Cola pulling out our water. This water is not the Mayor’s water or The Council’s water to sell. It is the citizen’s water, stated in the Pennsylvania Constitution.
In Indianapolis, Veolia, a private water company, took over the water system and immediatley made an aggressive move to reduce personnel costs—and personnel—through buying out veteran employees.
Lawsuits have been filed complaining about both the treatment of workers and the legality of the contract itself. Citizens are fighting to bring the system under public management.
Veolia’s poor operation of the Indianapolis water system rose to new heights when more than a million people in the city were put on a boil-water alert, schools were closed and hospitals and restaurants had to use bottled water.
The company blamed an employee for entering the wrong value into a computer at the system’s largest water treatment plant, with the result that the mix of chemicals used to treat water was incorrect. It took Veolia 12 hours from the time of noticing the problem before alerting the public, because, the company explained, Veolia was trying to get a handle on the problem.
The Mayor complained that there was no system in place to catch the error. Indianapolis citizens are up at arms about the need for increased public oversight of the operation, and tax payers are calling for independent investigations of the company’s performance.