At 7:17 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, June 15, 2016, the relentless efforts of Nestlé to separate the good people of Eldred Township from their water came to an anticlimactic end at the Kunkletown Fire Hall as the Zoning Hearing Board of the Northeastern Pennsylvania township formally accepted the withdrawal of the global giant's application to drill, drill, drill.
Nestlé had cast its beady corporate eye on the wonderfully clean water flowing beneath the picturesque township at the western edge of the Poconos and determined that it wanted Eldred's water more than it did because taking the water fit into its strategy to dominate the global bottled water market while making billions of dollars on the backs of the small communities it bludgeons into accepting its bulk water extraction schemes.
But Eldred fought back. Hard. After months of zoning hearings, a court fight that was just getting off the ground, and increasing national and international media attention that laid bare Nestlé's scorched-earth way of making friends in its unquenchable thirst for ever larger profits, the Swiss-owned company had had enough.
In an all too rare modern-day instance of David dispatching Goliath, the good citizens of Eldred sent Nestlé packing after a battle that brought out the best in its citizens. The table to the right in the photograph was occupied by a small army of Nestlé lawyers during zoning board hearings intentionally dragged out by Nestlé over the past five months. These lawyers had smugly assumed they could play Eldred's citizens for fools, but they were nowhere to be seen when their water grab efforts ended.
Not with a bang, but with a gracious round of applause.