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Crystal Geyser sells scrapped bottling facility in Siskiyou County

Liam Moriarty
Jefferson Public Radio
A long-dormant water bottling facility owned by Crystal Geyser Water Company outside of Mt. Shasta, CA. In May the company announced it would no longer pursue plans to operate the facility.

Local activists are celebrating the sale of an old bottling facility in Siskiyou County, signaling the end of a decade-long fight over water rights in Northern California. Now the activists are lobbying for stricter environmental standards.

The Crystal Geyser Water Company has been the subject of intense public protest ever since it bought an old bottling plant in the town of Mt. Shasta back in 2013 – with plans to bottle the region’s famously clean spring water.

After abandoning those plans last year in the face of public pressure and a lawsuit, the company has now sold the site to an investment group, One Shasta LLC.

Bruce Hillman is a member of the group formed in opposition to Crystal Geyser, We Advocate Thorough Environmental Review, or W.A.T.E.R.

“And part of the stipulation in the deed is that the new owner will not engage in water bottling or distribution," Hillman says. "So we were very glad to see that.”

Hillman says the fight doesn’t stop there; the group is arguing in appellate court Tuesday that Crystal Geyser’s Environmental Impact Report was inadequate, seeking to set a precedent for future efforts going forward.

“Even though this plant is not going forward; the threats to the water supply and the environment in the Mt. Shasta area continue. There’s still been discussions of opening water plants in McCloud.”

W.A.T.E.R. argues the report, which was only completed after public pressure, was inadequate, and fails to recognize the impacts this plant would have on the region’s water supply.

Neither Crystal Geyser nor the investment group that purchased the property, One Shasta LLC, could be reached for comment.

Hillman hopes the new developers will work with the community to transform the site into one that keeps community interests in mind.

Read the full Grant Deed and Deed of Trust related to the sale here:

After graduating from Oregon State University, Roman came to JPR as part of the Charles Snowden Program for Excellence in Journalism in 2019. He then joined Delaware Public Media as a Report For America fellow before returning to the west coast.