The American Beverage Association is calling for a federal investigation into Nestle over the company’s handling of the contamination at its Pure Water Farms facility in the town of Vernon.
The report says the company is responsible for over 50,000 gallons of raw water discharged to the nearby Chesapeake Bay.
“Nestle is a major manufacturer of bottled water, and it’s a significant contributor to our water supply,” said ABA Executive Vice President Tom Pyle in a statement.
“We call on the Food and Drug Administration to take immediate action to protect consumers and the environment by imposing strict new regulations that will require all water manufacturers to use more than half the water that is actually used in their products, and require all manufacturers to ensure that the water they discharge meets federal standards for quality, safety, and efficiency.”
The report comes after Nestle said it has spent $200 million cleaning up its Pure Waters site in Vernon, a town of about 5,500 people about 15 miles (24 kilometers) southeast of New Orleans.
“Our Pure Water Farm is the largest natural wetlands on the Eastern Shore, and is one of the largest freshwater aquaculture operations in the world,” Nestle spokesperson Nicole Zappal said in a written statement.
Nestle also said it is in talks with the government of New York to investigate the cleanup and has agreed to help pay for its cleanup, as well as the water it has discharged.
“These steps are the first step to addressing this crisis and ensuring that our customers and the Chesapeake region have the safe and sustainable environment they deserve,” said Zappl.
“If we do not act, we will see the same fate as other bottled water companies like PepsiCo, Unilever, and Coca-Cola.”