For Immediate Release
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Contact: Mary Curtius 703-228-7943 (voice) 703-228-4611(TTY)
ARLINGTON, Va. – Citing the environmental impact of single-serving bottled water, the Arlington County Board today banned the purchase of such bottles by County government.
In a resolution, the Board said that the transport of single-serving bottled water “involves burning massive quantities of fossil fuels.” Millions of such bottles are not recycled they have become “a prime source of litter and pollution in the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers,” the Board noted.
“This resolution makes sense for Arlington,” said Board Vice Chairman Jay Fisette. “Our County is a national leader on environmental and sustainability issues, and it is time to join other localities nationwide in reducing bottled water consumption and waste.”
Arlington County “is in the business of producing safe healthy tap water that meets and exceeds all state and federal standards,” the resolution stated. Virginia Governor Timothy Kaine in June 2009 issued an Executive Order prohibiting all executive branch agencies and institutions from procuring water in individual serving-sized containers made of plastic except for use in emergencies or for safety and health reasons, the resolution noted.
The Board said that the County Manager can make exceptions to the policy “in those limited circumstances of an emergency, for safety and health reasons, or where municipal tap water is not easily available. “ The Board instructed County Manager Ron Carlee to “pursue the use of large water dispensers at County events that utilize tap water in lieu of the repeated purchase of cases of individual water bottles.”
Arlington, Va., is a world-class residential, business and tourist location that was originally part of the "10 miles square" parcel of land surveyed in 1791 to be the Nation's Capital. It is the geographically smallest self-governing county in the United States, occupying slightly less than 26 square miles. Arlington maintains a rich variety of stable neighborhoods, quality schools and enlightened land use, and received the Environmental Protection Agency's highest award for "Smart Growth" in 2002. Home to some of the most influential organizations in the world - including the Pentagon - Arlington stands out as one of America's preeminent places to live, visit and do business.