Nestle wins legal challenge to boost pumping operations

Michigan

STANWOOD, Mich. (WOOD) — A judge has ruled in favor of Nestlé water company’s plan to increase the amount of water it pumps from a well near Evart.

The permit allows Nestlé Waters North America to increase its water pumping from 250 gallons per minute to 400 gallons per minute.

The state first approved the company’s request for that increase in 2018, which Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation and the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians contested immediately. 

MCWC released a statement in response to the ruling, saying complainants were never able to meet with state officials about the issue even though Nestle was in contact with the state.

The decision to uphold the approved permit, released late last week, still does not address how Nestle will nearly double its pumping rate. The state court of appeals previously sided with Osceola Township in denying the company’s request to build a booster station needed to sustain the added pressure.

In regards to the infrastructure needed to pump the increased amount of water, Nestlé told News 8 on Wednesday that the company is exploring its options. The company released the following statement:

Nestlé Waters North America (NWNA) is pleased that the Administrative Law Judge upheld the permit granted to us by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE). We firmly believe that the EGLE’s decision to approve our permit application was appropriate, as it carefully reviewed and considered our permit application in what it called “the most extensive analysis of any water withdrawal in Michigan history.” We have confidence in the science behind our application, the EGLE’s thorough review, the 18 years’ worth of environmental data collected near the site since beginning our operations in Michigan, and the EGLE’s analysis.

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