HOME

WATER,
PROPERTY RIGHTS,
AND PUBLIC HEALTH IN IDAHO

Development’s Risks vs. Rewards


C.A.I.A. IS A NON-PARTISAN IDAHO NON-PROFIT DEDICATED TO REPRESENTING AND EDUCATING THE PUBLIC AND PARTICIPATING IN PUBLIC PROCESSES TO PROMOTE THE PRESERVATION OF PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS, PUBLIC HEALTH, SAFETY AND CRITICAL RESOURCES


Our focus is currently on:

Oil and Gas

Water Issues

SELECT ONE OF THE IMAGES ABOVE TO LEARN MORE…
CAIA is working for a safe and healthy Idaho


THE LATEST POSTS ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGE…

[“Like”/”Follow”/”See first” on FB –> these go to your NewsFeed; “Get Notifications” –> email]

CALL TO ACTION:On June 8 Suez and Eagle Water Company filed a Motion and supporting materials to recommence the PUC process of the sale of the EWC system. Although the City of Eagle settled their lawsuit with Eagle Water Company earlier this year, the Judge ruled that if the sale to Suez doesn’t go through the case can be refiled without prejudice. The public was left out of the city’s decision to settle but we DO have a voice in whether or not the Idaho Public Utilities Commission approves the sale. The IPUC commissioners will have the final say and will listen to the public concerns, comments and recommendations. The acquisition MUST be deemed in the best interest of the public to move forward. If you are opposed to the sale of Eagle Water Company to Suez Water it is CRUCIAL that you submit a comment outlining your concerns to the Idaho Public Utilities Commission as soon as possible. We need to flood their website with comments. For some great examples of comments already submitted and issues highlighted by citizens go to the Public Comment section at the bottom of this page: puc.idaho.gov/case/Details/3611You can submit your own comments online at: puc.idaho.gov/Form/CaseComment*** The case number is EAG-W-18-01Or by regular mail at: Idaho Public Utilities Commission P O Box 83720 Boise, Idaho 83720-0074 FAX: (208) 334-3762Letters written from personal point of view are ALWAYS the most powerful, but included below are some important details which you may pull from if you’d like. PLEASE put whatever you submit into your own words.1. Why approve the sale and allow them to operate the City of Eagle’s public water system when Suez is not doing a great job of owning and operating Boise’s system, has multiple water quality Issues, failing infrastructure, a backload of customer service complaints and history of consistent rate increases? This sale is NOT in the public interest.2. Eagle Water Company has the greatest water quality in the region with no chemical injection (as confirmed by their 2020 annual report). Suez will mix this water with surface water from the Boise River, heavily treat it with chlorine and other chemicals and likely send it to other areas of the Boise valley to solve ongoing water quality issues they have there. This treatment of the resource is NOT in the public interest.3. Suez is already pumping water from Redwood Creek around Eagle into the foothills to serve Avimor and Hidden Springs; shouldn’t this water be reserved for growth between Eagle and Star? Why would Idahoans give up further local control of our most precious, life-sustaining natural resource to any foreign company whose fundamental goal is maximizing profits for their shareholders? Private water wells are reportedly running dry in many areas of the Boise Valley – including in Eagle - from the crush of new development that has negatively impacted our aquifers. This disturbing reality has left a growing number of citizens with literally no viable options for a domestic water source. Sending water we need in our Eagle community to outlying areas for new, non-contiguous growth is NOT in the public interest.4. Why would this commission consider allowing the sale of Eagle Water Company to Suez when the proposed sale price of $10.5 million dollars is nearly 10 times that of the actual base rate or estimated values of the company according to the 2020 annual report filed by EWC? The IPUC rejected a previous attempt by another party some years back under similar circumstances. The $10.5M amended sales price includes an additional $500,000 asked for by EWC in order to soften the $1.75M payment they are ordered to pay the City of Eagle as part of the recent lawsuit settlement. Why should Suez customers be forced to pay for fees that EWC owes the City of Eagle due to their own failure to fulfill their contractual responsibility from years past? Another question to be considered is how much the sale price has been inflated (rumored at $6M) by middleman Norm Bangle of H20 Eagle? This grossly inflated price is NOT in the public interest.5. Suez is currently being acquired by another European multi-national company with a shaky reputation; Veolia. Reports are that Suez will still exist, but it will be a much smaller company, and its U.S. business will migrate to Veolia. The new Veolia will have annual revenue of around $44 billion, more than five times the bundle of Suez assets that will create “new Suez.” Why would the PUC approve the sale when this merger taking place right now between Veolia and Suez threatens to create future issues within Eagle, including higher rates, poor water quality and extremely poor customer service? At the very least shouldn’t the process be paused until this merger is complete and then resumed with the new majority owner as the applicant? This transfer of our critical local resource to a foreign national corporation is NOT in the public interest.Veolia has an abysmal track record as documented in this excerpt from a recent article by author/journalist David Dayan. “In the U.S., Veolia operates water treatment plants and entire water systems, and virtually wherever high-profile problems have arisen, the company is not far behind. Veolia was contracted to assess water for the city of Flint, Michigan, and according to contemporaneous emails the company knew about the lead risk months before residents and informed city managers, but never made public its recommendations to find an alternative water supply. Veolia’s subsequent report identified Flint’s water as “safe,” and its one recommendation, adding a chemical called ferric chloride to address persistent discoloration, allegedly accelerated pipe corrosion and acidity in the water, according to a lawsuit from the Michigan attorney general. In Pittsburgh, a similar lead contamination crisis also coincided with Veolia’s entry, in this case to manage city water system operations. Veolia replaced an anti-corrosion chemical with a cheaper knockoff, and reduced the city’s water quality staff by half. Simultaneously, the company increased water rates by 20 percent over four years, and issued inaccurate bills that overcharged residents by as much as 600 percent, leading to unnecessary water shutoffs. As lead concentrations increased, Pittsburgh sued Veolia for malfeasance, but eventually dropped the case. These case studies reflect the telltale signs of water privatization, where cities and states sell off their public water infrastructure to be managed or owned by for-profit companies, in exchange for a one-time and short-term cash infusion. The deals both introduce the profit motive into a basic human need and relinquish democratic control of how safely and affordably that need is met.” Learn more about the multinational for-profit corporation that will be taking over this major community water source if the sale is approved by the IPUC at: prospect.org/.../corporate-merger-aims-to-build.../ ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook

content_copy