The Michigan DEQ has approved a permit from Nestle Waters North America to increase the amount of groundwater it pumps from its well near Evart, Michigan.
The state says Nestle has to complete a monitoring plan and submit it to the DEQ for approval. After that happens, Nestle will be authorized to pump up to 400 gallons of water per minute from its White Pine Springs well.
The permit request was highly controversial. As Michigan Radio’s Lindsey Smith reported, the DEQ received a unprecedented number of public comments on Nestle’s proposal. 80,945 commenters were against the request. 75 were in favor.
“This is a 60 percent increase in the volume extracted — potential 60 percent increase — and it’s just tough to take,” said Nicholas Occhipinti, government affairs director for the Michigan League of Conservation Voters.