Washington has taken a major step toward becoming the first US state to restrict companies looking to extract, bottle and sell local water supplies.
On Monday night the state senate passed a bill that would ban new permits for water bottling operations.
SB 6278 states “any use of water for the commercial production of bottled water is deemed to be detrimental to the public welfare and the public interest” and would apply retroactively to new permits filed after 1 January 2019.
The move was hailed by water campaigners, who declared it a breakthrough moment in the fight against the privatization of such a valuable public asset.
“Washington State is carving the path towards a groundbreaking solution,” said Mary Grant, the director of Food & Water Action’s public water for all campaign, in a statement.
In 2019, studies by the Center for Environmental Health and Consumer Reports found elevated arsenic levels in several bottled water brands.
Other states are also looking to limit or tax commercial water bottling operations, with state bills introduced in Maine and Michigan and local ballot measures passed in Oregon and Montana. »