European Water Privatizers
The European Union is home o he world’s larges waer companies. The wo bigges are rom France: Veolia Envi-ronnemen and Suez Environnemen.
Already, hree o he ive larges waer companies in he Unied Saes are rom he EU:
Veolia Environnemen operaes as Veolia Waer Norh America and is he second larges waer company in he counry, serving abou 10.5 million people in 32 saes.
Suez Environnemen operaes as Unied Waer and is he hird larges waer company in he counry,
serving abou 5.5 million people in 21 saes.
Severn Tren, a Briish company, is he ifh larges waer company in he Unied Saes, serving more han 3 mil-lion people in 22 saes.
Foreign Power Grab
TAFTA could smooh he way or hese and oher European companies o conrol more U.S. public waer sysems. The deal could give privae waer companies a powerul arsenal o use agains local communiies. TAFTA could undermine com-muniies’ abiliy o hal hosile privaizaion eﬀors, hinder atemps o reclaim waer sysems rom EU corporaions and make i harder o hold privae waer companies accounable. The deal could allow EU waer companies o challenge mu-nicipal decisions abou owning and operaing waer uiliies a secre inernaional ribunals. This nonransparen arbiraion sysem leaves litle room or appeal and has no respec or local and sae law. An EU company could even challenge an unavorable decision by a public domesic cour in his privae inernaional venue.
In eﬀec, he ribunal would have he power o second-guess local rules and public saeguards on behal o EU companies.
An EU waer company could hike is cusomers’ waer bills by challenging sae oversigh o uiliy raes.
The compa-nies could also seek moneary damages i a local governmen sough o compel improved service or erminae a privae waer conrac premaurely.
This would make i much harder or U.S. communiies o exi harmul waer privaizaion deals or buy back heir local waer sysems rom EU corporaions.
U.S. Experiences With EU Water Companies
EU waer corporaions have a dreadul rack record in he Unied Saes. Communiies have experienced everyhing rom negligen cusomer service and sysem deerioraion o waer leaks and sewage spills.
Spilling sewage in he San Francisco Bay, Cali.
In a 2008 lawsui, he wachdog group San Francisco Baykeeper accused he Veolia-managed Burlingame wasewaer reamen plan o illegally dumping more han 10 million gallons o wase-waer ino he San Francisco Bay over he preceding six years and o ailing o repor violaions.
Baykeeper believed ha
TAFTA: The European Union’s
Secret Raid on U.S. Public Water Utilities
he Unied Saes and he European Union are secrely negoiaing a rade deal ha could make i easier or he world’s bigges waer companies o privaize our public waer sysems. The Transalanic Free Trade Agreemen (TAFTA) — oﬀicially called he Transalanic Trade and Invesmen Parnership — could allow EU corporaions o ake over local governmen services like waer and sewer sysems in he Unied Saes.
Privaized waer sysems — including noable akeovers by European waer companies — generally deliver worse service a higher prices.