Nestle Representative and FSU Professor Debate

A representative from Nestle Company met face-to-face with an FSU professor.

The two continued the debate on the water bottling company's interest in using water from a local springs.

Nestle Waters' Natural Resource Manager got the opportunity to respond to community concerns surrounding the company possibly bottling water from Wacissa Springs in Jefferson County.

Kent Koptiuch spoke at the Capital Tiger Bay's Crossfire meeting Tuesday at the Leon County Civic Center.

Dr. Andy Opel, an Environmental Communications Professor at FSU, also got the chance to express his concerns.

Opel says that if Nestle bottles water from Wacissa Springs, it will be damaging to the community.

Koptiuch disagreed and said, contrary to what many people believe, Nestle would not make an outstanding profit from the project.

Koptiuch said, "The margins on bottles water are very thin. You go into a convenient store, sure, you're going to pay $1.25, $1.50 for a bottle. But, that's a mark up that the convenient store gets. We, as a company, do not sell retail. We sale wholesale only."

Dr. Opel said, "They're using our roads, our transportation infrastructure, fouling air and groundwater and leaving the public on the hook to clean up the mess. For any concerned about local environment, the health of Floridians, and the financial future of government; the answer to this question is no--no free water for Nestle, no water mining and no water profiteering."

Nestle has a water bottling plant in Madison County.

Koptiuch says the company provides about 800 jobs in Florida. But, Dr. Opel says there wouldn't be many jobs coming to Jefferson County because he says Nestle would only be using the water, and not new people.

Many of the concerns have been brought up and several community meetings.

But, Tuesday, Koptiuch told attendees that Nestle would not move forward until the company completes its studies on the effects on the spring.

He says they're only six months into the study and have at least a year before the study is done.

Nestle has not applied for a permit to begin pumping from Wacissa Springs.

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