Sabo, Wittenberg to Introduce Resolutions on Nestlé Waters

Legislators urge MDEQ to reject application to increase pumping
Friday, March 31, 2017

LANSING — State Reps. Terry J. Sabo (D-Muskegon) and Robert Wittenberg (D-Oak Park) will be introducing resolutions urging the governor and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) to reject Nestlé Waters’ request to increase their pumping operation at its Evart location.

“Nestlé does not provide sufficient information to evaluate the full impacts of the proposed withdrawal increase,” said Rep. Wittenberg. “If this is going to be done, it should be done responsibly. It is in everyone’s best interests if this application is rejected until more information can be gathered.”

Today Nestlé Waters pumps more than 200 gallons of Michigan groundwater per minute for its Ice Mountain water bottle brand, and the request would allow it to increase their operations to pump 400 gallons per minute. Given that Nestlé owns the wells that it pumps water from, the company only pays $200 in administrative fees to allow it to pump groundwater, meaning profits will surge if the proposed increase is approved. The timeframe to comment on the application has been extended to April 21, with a public hearing to be held on April 12 in Big Rapids at Ferris State University.

“As legislators, it is critical that we be good stewards of our environment,” said Rep. Sabo. “There is simply not enough information at this time to understand the potential impact this increase could have on our streams and wetlands. Having that kind of data is key to making an informed decision. Rejecting the application now, until more information is available, protects us all in the long run.”