"Inside Poland Spring’s Hidden Attack on Water Rules It Didn’t Like"

"When Maine lawmakers tried to tighten regulations on large-scale access to water, the brand’s little-known parent company set out to rewrite the rules."

"When Maine lawmakers tried to rein in large-scale access to the state’s freshwater this year, the effort initially gained momentum. The state had just emerged from drought, and many Mainers were sympathetic to protecting their snow-fed lakes and streams.

Then a Wall Street-backed giant called BlueTriton stepped in.

BlueTriton isn’t a household name, but its products are. Americans today buy more bottled water than any other packaged drink, and BlueTriton owns many of the nation’s biggest brands, including Poland Spring, which is named after a natural spring in Maine that is no longer commercially viable.

Maine’s bill threatened BlueTriton’s access to the groundwater it bottles and sells. The legislation had already gotten a majority vote on the committee and was headed toward the full Legislature, when a lobbyist for BlueTriton proposed an amendment that would gut the entire bill."

Hiroko Tabuchi reported from Maine with photographer Tristan Spinski for the New York Times October 24, 2023.

Source: NYTimes, 10/25/2023