August 28, 2008 7:02 AM

Costa Rica's pineapple boom raises environmental questions

The raucous honking of a cistern truck carrying potable water rouses residents from their homes here each morning, clanging plastic bottles and tin pots in hand. ''When will it stop,'' says 64-year-old Rufina Najera, lugging a yellow 5-gallon pail stained with dirt to the roadside. Last year, authorities detected small amounts of Bromacil, a pesticide used to thwart insects from pineapple plants, in the local aquifer. Since then, the government has delivered water by truck to nearly 6,000 people. "The pineapple companies tell us the water is clean, but the government won't let us drink it,.'' Najera said.

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