Saturday, April 21, 2012

Another BDS Fail : Veolia in the running for Woodland-Davis Water Project

Thanks to our friends at Israelstreet for the information.

It looks like its another BDS fail, this time from the central valley of California. The Davis-Woodland Clean Water Agency has voted unanimously–4 to 0 –to ignore the BDS’ers and to include Veolia in a bid. for a multimillion dollar project to bring water to the arid communities of Central California.

The Woodland-Davis Clean Water Agency (WDCWA) WDCWA is in the early stages of a project to bring surface water to Woodland and Davis. Project objectives – which include improving water quality, water supply reliability, and the quality of treated wastewater discharge – were developed in response to challenges posed by aging water systems, more stringent drinking water regulations, and stricter wastewater discharge permitting standards, among other things. As part of that process, the WDCWA opened the project to bidders. Only three companies responded, including Veolia Water North America.

Veolia is large multinational French company which has different transportation and environmental subsidiaries worldwide, including Israel and the disputed territories. The primary target for BDS activists is the Veolia connection with the Jerusalem Light Rail system and Veolia’s ownership of Connex, a local bus company. Because of this, Veolia is in the cross-hairs of the BDS’ers (note to self: They are targeting Veolia contracts in the North Bay as well)

Last year the BDS cru demanded that the WDCWA exclude Veolia from bidding because of its “human rights violations”. The WDCWA wisely decided that international affairs were beyond its scope yet agreed to a “compromise”. They required the proposed bidders to respond to an “ethics questionnaire”. The companies responses are here

The BDS’ers sent around frantic emails, requesting

“Send emails to the members of the Board... before April 16, urging them to consider 1) Veolia Environnements international and domestic violations of its published code of corporate conduct, which Veolia has stated applies to all the subsidiaries of its corporate family; 2) its violations of the principles of the UN Global Compact Guidance on Responsible Business in Conflict-Affected and High Risk Areas, which it participated in developing; 3) and point out that local government agencies around the U.S. have been unhappy with Veolia’s business practices, operational short-cuts, cost-exceedances, environmental permit violations, and unfair labor practices. Make the emails brief...”

The Water Board made its decision on Thursday, April 19 to allow Veolia to bid on the project, in spite of 12 , count em 12 anti-Israel letters (Why does a British or a Dutch activist feel they have the right to tell the Central Valley Water Board how to vote on this decidedly local issue? Why does a Jewish Voice for Peace member in Boston feel she has the right to tell our local community how to conduct its affairs? ) Local ISM Head Paul Larudee also weighed in- at least he’s only an hour ago from the proposed project.

WDCWA staff gave its report–aand concluded that Veolia Water North America is a wholly different subsidiary from the Veolia subsidiaries in Israel. Oops. Looks like the BDS cru were so busy demonizing Israel, they forgot to do their research.

The Conclusion of the Woodland-Davis Clean Water Agency:

"We evaluated the Veolia ethics policy against the CEICI Blueprint recommendations and determined that the policy and related procedures substantially meet the recommendations.

The Agency also is aware of criticisms by a pro-Palestinian group against Veolia relating to the operation of bus and light rail systems in Israel. Those operations are not by Veolia Water West Operating Services, Inc. or Veolia Water North America Operating Services, LLC or any of their subsidiaries and therefore the charges fall outside the scope of the Agency’s Request.
From staff’s perspective, business operations in Israel by a Veolia company other than the companies that the Agency would be transacting with are not sufficient reason to disqualify the entire Veolia-Kiewit-MWH team. The companies in the team are highly qualified and generally practice good business ethics."

Or, to make it easier for you. BDS fail. Again.

Read about the hearing here


Anonymous said...

There is a reason Veolia is being targetted. After 11 years of failure, the BDS movement is desperate for some victories. Any time Veolia is underbid for any contract the BDS will now claim victory- but every time Veolia wins a bid, you can bet it will be ignored.

Anonymous said...

At the Thursday hearing ( as always) Mikos Fabersunne opened his mouth and inserted his foot.

Shlomo Ben Hungstien said...

that creep finklestein said it best that all his fingers are more then sufficient to count all of the BDS victories over the years. and those are dubious victories at best.