The Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation is asking Governor Rick Snyder to extend the public comment period and impose a moratorium on further withdrawals from Nestle's well near Evart.
In a letter sent to the Governor, MCWC Director Heidi Grether notes the following reasons for the request:
“WE are formally requesting an extension of the comment period for permit
for PW 101 in Osceola County and a moratorium on further withdrawals
from this well until at least July 1, 2017 for the following reasons:
1. Citizens have not had sufficient time to respond to the impact of the
increased withdrawals made from the well since January of 2016 under an
incorrectly drawn permit.
2. Citizens have not yet received the extensive FOIA-requested information
from the MDEQ and therefore have not had access to the information needed
to carefully evaluate the Nestlé request to increase pumping from 150 gpm to
3. Numerous flaws in the permit and inaccurate Nestlé-supplied data on the
present impact of withdrawals demand that citizens be given more time to
gather real time data and independent environmental assessments.
4. No public hearings have been scheduled to date and citizens are requesting
that there be at least 6 of them around the state because Nestlé water takings
are a state-wide issue of concern. At minimum, there must be a hearing in
Evart with time given for the community to assess real data beforehand.
Further hearings are requested in Flint, Detroit, Muskegon, Traverse City,
and Sault St. Marie.
5. Nestlé is in the process of buying further land use agreements in the area
near the PW 101 well, apparently preparing to drill three more wells to feed
into the currently unused 8” pipe running parallel to the 5” pipe in use from
PW 101. Nestlé has yet to acquire the necessary permit for a booster station
from the township, an issue that is on hold until at least April. Affected
citizens have only recently become aware of these additional plans, with no
time to hold public comment.
6. Nestlé may be attempting to cover up evidence of current damage to the
streams in the area by offering at a township public meeting to replace
culverts and “fix” easements for the township. Since the Water Assessment
tool was applied and scored a D, we would like to see the results of the sitespecific
review before Nestlé is allowed to alter any evidence of damage.
7. The only stream monitoring and environmental impact assessments MDEQ
appears to employ in the decision for permitting are those conducted by
Nestlé. Citizens expect that independent study must be employed.
Specifically, we request that a species inventory be conducted by the US Fish
& Wildlife Service or at least the MDNR. We also request that future
monitoring be done by the USGS and that such monitoring agreement be in
place before any permit be considered.
8. Citizens have not been given the data requested on the actual withdrawals
from this well since the improper increase of January 2016 from 150 gpm to
250 gpm, and therefore do not know how much water Nestlé took from the
well which must be returned to the aquifer by a halt to withdrawal. We are
requesting an immediate halt to withdrawal from this well until it is properly