For Immediate Release

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Kate Fried, Food & Water Watch (202) 683-2500, kfried(at)foodandwaterwatch(dot)org

New Jersey Supreme Court Ruling a Victory for Citizens of Trenton

Statement of Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter

WASHINGTON - "Yesterday, the Supreme Court of New Jersey overwhelmingly agreed that the people of Trenton should have a say in how public water resources are managed with its 5-1 ruling to allow a referendum regarding the potential sale of a portion of Trenton's water system to a private company. A local citizen's group has been engaged in a two-year battle with American Water to allow the citizens of Trenton to exercise their rights to directly participate in the decision to sell off a major component of their publically-owned water system.

"Food & Water Watch applauds the Supreme Court of New Jersey's validation of the public's will to have a say in the ways in which their essential water resources are governed and managed. To have denied the referendum would have undermined fundamental principals in state law that guarantee that water resources are managed for the benefit of the public.

"This is a victory for the people of Trenton and a setback for any corporations who may be planning to preempt public participation by shifting the debate from the ballot box to the courtroom.

"We call on the City of Trenton to swiftly resume the referendum process that was halted last year."

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Food & Water Watch is a nonprofit consumer organization that works to ensure clean water and safe food. We challenge the corporate control and abuse of our food and water resources by empowering people to take action and by transforming the public consciousness about what we eat and drink.

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