LANSING — The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality announced on Monday that it has approved a permit application to allow Nestlé to increase the amount of Michigan groundwater they pump for sale as bottled water, despite receiving 80,945 comments opposed to the permit approval and only 75 in favor. The new permit will allow the company to pump 400 gallons a minute, up from 250 gallons a minute. In response, state Rep. Brian K. Elder (D-Bay City) issued the following statement:

“This disappointing and destructive decision it is yet another example of the mismanagement and profiteering of the current administration. My people have to pay for the water that they drink. There is no reason a wealthy corporation should be allowed to take our groundwater, paying virtually pennies for doing so, and ship it out of our state to line the pockets of CEOs. I recently joined many of my House Democratic colleagues in co-sponsoring legislation to ensure our groundwater is managed in the public interest and not sold off for corporate profits. Now is the time to act on such measures, to do what we can to protect the Great Lakes State’s natural resources.”