Nestlé 1041 permit update

County Commissioners continue permit hearing; decision likely months away.

Chaffee County Commissioners continued the Nestlé Waters North America 1041 permit hearing today and decided to negotiate a contract with Harvey Economics to conduct an economic impact analysis, further delaying a decision to approve or deny the permit extension.

The Commissioners continued the 1041 hearing until 1 p.m. Dec. 8 and directed staff to solicit a proposal for the economic analysis from Harvey Economics for consideration at the Dec. 8 meeting.

Assistant County Attorney Daniel Tom said the study could take several months, especially with COVID-19 constraints, and that the analysis would be paid for with money from the reimbursement fund that Nestlé was required to establish under the conditions of the original 1041 permit.

In order to accommodate the timeframe for the analysis, the Commissioners agreed in principle to extend Nestlé’s existing 1041 permit once they have a better idea of how long the economic analysis will take to complete.  

The Commissioners also agreed that, after the Dec. 8 meeting, the 1041 hearing will be continued to a date that allows sufficient time for all parties to analyze the economic report.

County Commissioners Chairman Greg Felt said the economic report would be subject to a response from Nestlé and to public comments.

Harvey Economics is a Denver-based company that “focuses on Water and Wastewater Economics, Environmental/Natural Resource Economics, Tourism/Recreation, Energy and Minerals, Litigation Support, Native American Tribes, NEPA, and Agriculture.

Joe Stone