State orders owner of California firm to stop tapping Sierra Nevada springs for bottled water

IndustriesAssociated Press

Regulators have ordered a company to stop tapping Sierra Nevada spring water during the California drought.

Kathy Mrowka of the state water board said Wednesday that Scott Fahey, the owner of Sugar Pine Spring Water, has refused to show them his operations behind locked gates in Tuolumne County.

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The company could face a fine of $225,000 after being accused of tapping springs in the Tuolumne River watershed after its water rights were curtailed during the drought.

State investigators say in a complaint that surveillance cameras outside the business have recorded tanker truck traffic.

Calls to Fahey and his attorney, William Barringer, were not immediately returned.

Mrowka says it's the first such enforcement action involving commercial water bottling under the state's heightened drought restrictions.