In Bert Kendall’s Jan. 28 Another View guest editorial defending Nestlé (Poland Spring) employee Mark Dubois’ appointment to the Board of Environmental Protection, Kendall neglected to mention that he is serving as interim manager for the town of Denmark. Considering that Nestlé owns Cold Spring in Denmark – where they are permitted to extract 105.1 million gallons annually, for which they pay nothing – this is an important detail to omit.

Kendall stated that Dubois helped him “craft a water extraction ordinance that … gave the town (Denmark) the right to shut down the operation if water levels dropped to dangerous levels.”

The large-scale extraction ordinance referenced was crafted by the Select Board in response to Nestlé’s acquisition of the Cold Spring property, precisely as a means of protecting our natural resource. To imply that Dubois provided input that would protect the aquifer is misleading at best. Dubois’ involvement in the process was as a paid representative of Nestlé, just as he will be as an appointed member with undue influence on the BEP.

Regarding Kendall’s contention that none of the production wells have been shut down for threatening supplies in the years since Nestlé started pumping, I agree. During the 2016 drought, they didn’t cease extraction, despite the aquifer reaching levels that corresponded to earlier “action” levels that Nestlé successfully petitioned Denmark to lower in 2012. Had the town not acquiesced to the revision, Nestle would presumably have had to cease pumping in 2016.

Shaming the Press Herald and Colin Woodard for “doing a hatchet job on Mark” and columnist Nickie Sekera for her “rambling criticism” is an example of an escalating trend in our culture of favoring the rights of corporations over individuals and the environment. The real shame would be if we, as citizens, were to sit back and ignore conflict-of-interest appointments that threaten our rights as individuals.

Laurie LaMountain