East Montpelier passes ban on groundwater withdrawal

03/05/08 8:04AM

East Montpelier's groundwater was the big issue at Town Meeting, with residents voting to ban withdrawing large amounts in response to a commercial water bottling proposal.

After about a long discussion Tuesday, voters passed an amended article that would place a three-year moratorium on water extraction.

The move is intended to allow the town time to study how Montpelier Spring Water Co. would impact the town water supply.

State lawmakers also are considering a bill that would define who owns the state's groundwater.

Deane Hedges, East Montpelier's water manager, opposes the ban, arguing that state permitting, the state's land use law and oversight by the Environmental Protection Agency would be sufficient to protect the town's water.

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