Residents and activists sue over Mount Shasta water bottling plant in parched California

IndustriesAssociated Press

A group of neighbors and activists has sued bottled water company Crystal Geyser and Siskiyou County over plans to build a bottling plant near Mount Shasta in parched Northern California.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports (http://bit.ly/1Jji6kM) Wednesday that the suit accuses Crystal Geyser of pushing through an illegal plan to suck thousands of gallons of water a day from an aquifer that feeds the drought-parched Sacramento River.

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The group says the company failed to get proper permits and will be violating land-use provisions if it carries out its plan this fall to tap Big Springs, which burbles out through lava tubes at the base of California's largest volcano, the newspaper reported.

"The ultimate goal is to have an environmental impact report," said Bruce Hillman, president of the board of directors for the nonprofit group We Advocate Thorough Environmental Review. "We don't know what the effect of this plant will be on the local environment, so we are asking for an injunction until these issues have been decided."

Siskiyou County was also named in the suit for allegedly ignoring its own rules and pushing the project through.

City and county officials have said they have no legal authority to require an environmental impact report.

Judy Yee, the executive vice president of marketing and business strategy for Crystal Geyser, said company officials would not comment on pending litigation.

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Information from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com/