After a five month coalition effort led by KingstonCitizens.org questioning the process, the proposed Niagara Bottling project abandoned its controversial plan to build a plant near TechCity that would have drawn water from the city of Kingston’s reservoir. The Niagara Bottling Company chose not to pursue a public scoping process and all that it would entail. “Any impact that we might have made is a reflection of strong resolve, partnerships, commitment, patience and perseverance by us all. It is a great illustration of Democracy at work in the Hudson Valley.” said Rebecca Martin. The tight knit group of local volunteers at KingstonCitizens.org included Jennifer Schwartz Berky, Rachel Marco Havens, Heather Schwegler, Debra Bresnan and Karin Wolf. Martin’s deepest gratitude was given to the courageous former Town of Woodstock Supervisor Jeremy Wilber for his leadership role.
The coalition of partners included The Woodstock Land Conservancy, Riverkeeper, Esopus Creek Conservancy, Food and Water Watch, SaveCooperLake.org, Catskill Mountainkeeper, NYPIRG, The Wittenberg Center, Mid-Hudson Sierra Club, Red Hook Conservation Advisory Council, Clark Richters and Kingston News, SUNY Ulster Environmental Club, Scenic Hudson, Sustainable Saugerties, Slow Food Hudson Valley, Town of Woodstock, Town of Red Hook, City of Kingston Common Council and Conservation Advisory Council, Kingston Transition, Woodstock NY Transition and all of the local businesses who helped to get the word out and host public educational events.
KingstonCitizens.org went on to change the water powers law with a referendum to protect the Kingston community in November of 2015.
READ KingstonCitizens.org’s blog posts on the Niagara Bottling proposal process