Nestle Waters’ plan to bottle water from a spring near Cascade Locks appears to be dead, after Gov. Kate Brown directed state officials to stop an exchange of water rights that was crucial to the deal.
In a letter to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife on Friday, the governor asked the department’s director to stop the exchange for fiscal rather than environmental reasons. The agency will comply with the governor’s request, spokeswoman Michelle Dennehy said on Monday.
Brown did not say how much it cost state agencies, including the Oregon Water Resources Department, to work on the water rights exchange. But she said it would require “significant staff resources and legal costs” going forward.
“This is of particular concern given the uncertainty around the city’s plans for a Nestle plant,” Brown wrote, referring to a local ban on such plants. Voters in Hood River County passed a measure in May 2016 to ban large water bottling operations.