Tag Archives: Mecosta County

Mecosta County Fight Over, Citizens Winners, Nestle Greenwashing Like Crazy

Be prepared for an avalanche of corporate spin from this one: Nestle has settled their nearly decade-long legal dispute with the Michigan Citiznes for Water Conservation (MCWC) in Mecosta County, MI.

And by every measure, the MCWC won.

It appears that Nestle was ultimately forced to do the right thing by the citizens group, yet – true to form – they’re suggesting this is proof they’re a watershed friendly company.

Well, maybe when they’re forced to be by the courts.

First, the story from the Detroit Free Press:

Decade-long bottled water dispute settled | Freep.com | Detroit Free Press

The makers of Ice Mountain bottled water and a group of environmentalists who waged a decade-long fight to block or cap the company’s withdrawal of groundwater in northwest lower Michigan announced a final legal agreement today.

Under the agreement Nestle Waters North America can pump an average of 218 gallons per minute (about 313,000 gallons a day), with restrictions on spring and summer withdrawals deemed most threatening to the Dead Stream and Thompson Lake near Mecosta.

It was reached on the eve of what was expected to be a weeklong court hearing on requested modifications of an earlier, temporary agreement.

Terry Swier, president of Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation, called the resolution a “major victory” for defenders of the resource, affirming limits first placed on Nestle by a Mecosta County judge in 2003.

For those not familiar with the whole wretched story, Nestle initially pumped 400 cfs from the source in question, and refused to modify that pumping regime – even after it became clear to all involved that too much water was being withdrawn, and the watershed was suffering.

In fact, Nestle was wholly unresponsive until a judge threatened Nestle with an injunction. In the face of the loss of all the water, Nestle finally did negotiate a lower withdrawal, and astonishingly, later created a video (in response to the movie FLOW) which touted the watershed-friendly nature of their current regime – without noting that they were forced to pump at that level.

In the face of yet another court battle, Nestle – probably aware how much their predatory stance in Mecosta was being perceived in other rural towns (where their free ride was over) – negotiated the flow regime the MCWC felt was needed to protect the watershed (218 cfs, reductions at other times of the year).

Congratulations are due to the MCWC, who fought Nestle’s irresponsible pumping behavior for ten years (at the cost of nearly $1 million) and finally won.

I fully expect Nestle to hold this sordid episode up as a shining example of their concern for the health of watersheds, but it simply won’t fly; they were forced to reduce pumping in Mecosta, and performed absolutely zero watershed flow monitoring in McCloud until (again) they were forced to.

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David v. Goliath: Help Michigan Citizens Protect Their Water from Nestle’s Bottling Operations

This well-written piece (by Leslie Samuelrich of Corporate Accountability International) pretty succinctly sums up what’s happening in Mecosta County, where Nestle Waters of North America intends to win – not by being right, but by sheer legal might:

Time is ticking. It’s been nine years now since Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation first went to court to stop Nestlé from pumping millions of gallons from a rural Michigan wildlife preserve. And the outcome of a court hearing on July 6 will determine whether our judicial system can work to protect community water rights.

There are two things at stake:

The first is the outcome of the case, which will determine whether or not Nestlé can continue to drain large quantities of water from rural Michigan, narrowing streams, exposing mud flats, and reducing flow levels. A Nestlé victory guarantees the world’s largest bottler access to water at the expense of local ecosystems and businesses, such as tourism, that depend on the watershed’s long-term viability.

The second is whether Nestlé will win merely on the basis of financial might rather than on the basis of what’s right. Going to court is expensive, especially against Nestlé, a massive global corporation that can easily pour millions into defending its profits. The Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation have dug deep, running bake sales and raffles to garner the resources needed to stand up to Nestlé in court through several rounds of Nestlé appeals. Now, as the community is heading into the most crucial round of the Nestlé battle, they are in urgent need of additional funds to keep them in the courtroom through the close of the summer hearing — the legal fees are no joke, amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The case could have been over in 2003, when a judge determined that Nestlé’s withdrawal of 400 gallons of water a minute was having a negative impact on several local streams and ponds, and called a halt to the pumping. But the pumping never stopped. Nestlé appealed and hired its own scientists to produce studies that validated its operations. To counter Nestlé’s efforts, the community has had to continue to hire lawyers and experts and the fees are piling up. Nestlé has run the community dry in more ways than one.

This case underscores the importance of water resources remaining in public control and decisions about water being made locally and democratically…water is too precious to hand over to Goliath.

For more information or to help the Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation get into the courtroom, click here.

via David v. Goliath: Help Michigan Citizens Protect Their Water from Nestle’s Bottling Operations | Water | AlterNet.

Nestle Waters Bankrupts Another Legal Opponent, But You Can Help (Now In Mecosta, MI)

The Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation (MCWC) have fought Nestle Waters of North America for nearly nine years, and now they’re suffering the inevitable at the hands of the Swiss multinational’s seemingly endless legal resources – they need outside help (see the end of the post to find out how).

(BTW – small, rural towns thinking of working with Nestle probably should copy and save Ms. Swier’s letter below – if the food & beverage giant doesn’t get its way, you’ll be looking at sending one of these out on your own behalf.)

For those unfamiliar with Nestle’s water bottling presence in Mecosta County, MI, I’ll post a nutshell version of the whole sordid tale below Terry Swier’s letter, but for those with a sense of justice and a couple dollars in their pocket, here’s Ms. Swier’s letter, which details the organization’s current legal challenges against Nestle:

MCWC’s funding has dropped way down this past year and I know other organizations are facing the same difficulties. We need an emergency action alert for funding this hearing. MCWC is finding itself falling farther behind in being able to pay legal fees and expert costs.

To help defray costs, MCWC’s lawyers and experts will be staying at Gary’s and my house for the hearing and will be arriving on the 5th. Roseanne Sapp has offered to bring a meal one night and that is much appreciated. I would like to ask if others would like to do the same, either breakfast foods, evening snacks, or help with a dinner. Please email me tswier@centurytel.net if you can help.

As you know, MCWC is in the longest running bottled water battle with Nestle anywhere, having started in December 2000 and gone through trial, appeals, and remand injunction proceedings for almost 9 years now.  MCWC and its 2000 members funded this by bake sales, raffles, garage sales, and an occasional grant. We have raised over $1 million for expert witness fees, attorney fees, and costs over the first 8 years. This has been an extraordinary effort.  The firm of Olson, Bzdok and Howard has charged fees that are 3/4 of normal and contributed or waived an additional $100,000 in fees over these years.

MCWC is now faced with another lengthy hearing on issues it has won.  MCWC’s experts are prepared to show the Court that new facts since the injunction was entered into in January 2006, facts that will demonstrate why the injunction should be modified to better protect the stream from early May to October in the drier years  MCWC’s experts are also prepared to rebut Nestle’s claims that it should be able to pump 50 gpm or 30% more when in fact it should pump less.  The injunction limits have generally protected the stream, except in the drier years such as 2007.

However, we are facing not only an astounding loss and debt from all of this, but another $60,000 in expenses to contest Nestle from now through the end of the hearing this Summer.   MCWC needs help, and fast, to keep going. Please send your donations to MCWC – P.O. Box 1 – Mecosta, MI 49332.

I have 414 emails of MCWC members that I am sending this plea to. Please help me get the word out and send it on to your family, friends, and anyone you know who might be able to help MCWC.

Thank you.

Terry Swier
Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation

I hope some of StopNestleWater.org’s readers will help out.

The Condensed Version of the Nestle’s Mecosta County Story

Here are the bare facts: Nestle Waters of North America received a permit to pump water and build a bottling plant from a friendly state resource manager (who now speaks on their behalf).

A citizen’s group – concerned about apparent damage to the watershed (a lake, stream and two wetlands) – eventually challenged Nestle’s pumping regime in court. Nestle still refused to reduce their water intake (one lakeside landowner says the company offered to extend his dock, which no longer reached the water), and the judge actually visited the areas in question before deciding in favor of the MCWC.

It’s instructive to note that Nestle only negotiated a lower pumping rate after the judge lost his patience and threatened an injunction which would have halted all pumping. Nestle’s pumping rate is about half the originally permitted rate, and the company has since found two more sources (controversial), and the factory seems to be running at full tilt.

Still, after losing their day in court, Nestle turned around and filed a lawsuit which challenged the right of citizens to bring environmental lawsuits in Michigan, and won that suit (in front of a very conservative Michigan Supreme Court, the makeup of which has changed slightly).

It’s as good an example of any of Nestle’s approach, which involves throwing multiple legal resources at issues until they find a legal loophole the can drive one of their tanker trucks through (ala Fryeburg).

Today, the MCWC wants further protections for the watershed in dry years while Nestle Waters of North America wants the right to actually increase pumping levels.

Help out if you can:

P.O. Box 1
Mecosta, MI 49332

Want to donate online? The MCWC site allows you to contribute via PayPal.

Terry Swier of Michigan’s Statement Challenges Nestle’s Whitewash of Michigan Bottling Plant

How does one Michigan resident feel about Nestle Waters of North America’s “good neighbor” corporate spin?

Judge for yourself:

Statement from Terry Swier, Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation, at the Nestle Waters North America Headquarters | Corporate Accountability International

I am Terry Swier, the President of Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation (MCWC), a grassroots environmental group with 2,000 members. I am here today to tell Nestlé that MCWC is committed to continue the fight to protect the waters of the Great Lakes Basin for our children and generations to come.

Our lives have changed over the past eight years, since Nestlé came to Michigan with plans to pump 720,000 gallons per day of spring water from a private hunting preserve, pipe it to its plant, bottle it, and ship it out of the Great Lakes Basin for its own profit. Nestlé’s pumping has lowered a stream, two lakes, and adjacent wetlands. Nestlé continues to pump at high rates during periods of lower rainfall and recharge. And this is the just the tip of Nestlé Ice Mountain:

• MCWC has taken Nestlé to court to prove that water belongs to the people. MCWC vs. Nestlé is heading back to the courts in July of this to ask for adjustment of Nestlé’s pumping levels to prevent further environmental impacts. Nestlé has challenged the right of citizen groups, like ours, to bring lawsuits to protect land that is not on our own property, even though ecological damage affects us all. This is not about just bottled water. This is a battle over who will own and control the water. To date, MCWC has spent more than a $1,000,000 in court costs and lawyer and environmental experts’ fees. Nestlé is determined to run us dry in more ways than one and no amount of talk about being a ‘good neighbor’ will change that fact.

• To compound matters, Nestlé hired a polling firm to call targeted residents and ask questions about my leadership qualities and character.

• The corporation has also sent private investigators to homes of people who had signed MCWC’s referendum asking intimidating questions about whether they understood what they were signing, most likely with the hope of invalidating the referendum.

• What’s more, Nestlé threatened a potential Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation; know as a SLAPP suit, against my son and others who spoke out publicly about the company’s bad practices.

• And the corporation has also leveraged policymakers, actively pursuing and being granted tax breaks, grants, and numerous favors in spite of its poor environmental record and its exportation of water from Michigan.

With Nestlé the story is always the same; the only difference is the address.

It’s interesting to read Ms. Swier’s experience with the company in light of Nestle’s whitewashing of the Michigan issue at a recent “community input” meeting in McCloud, where – true to form – the Swiss multinational forgot to mention the push polling, investigators, and Nestle’s suit limiting the right of Michigan’s citizens to protect the environment.

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Interview With Four Communities Targeted by Nestle Waters’ Water Bottling Operation

The good folks at Corporate Accountability International published a transcript of an interview with the leaders of four different community groups – all of whom are dealing with the unwelcome attentions of Nestle Waters of North America’s bottled water operations.

As you read these, notice the similarities between their stories – despite the fact the communities are separated by the width of a continent. Nestle’s template includes sneaking in under the run, dividing communities, and dangling too few jobs for too little money.

First, Deborah Lapidus of Wisconsin recounts her group’s hard-fought victory over Nestle’s intention to build a water bottling plant:

Transcript: National Press Call – Nestle Week of Action | Corporate Accountability International

So, how did this happen? Nestlé, which was then called Perrier Group of America muscled itself into our community. It foresaw $1 million a day sales of a product that cost the company essentially nothing and that was bottled so-called spring water. Nestlé promised to bring jobs to the area and they kept repeating the philosophy that development equals progress. It looked like our local zoning might be up for sale. However, many citizens when they found out what was happening, they valued our natural setting and they saw through all the corporate lies and they were insulted by tactics such as offers of money to local officials and an offer of money to the PTO of the little tiny school in the area. Nestlé also bought the prize calf at the county fair and got their picture in the paper. This was really insulting to people.

However, the issue divided neighbors and even families because some of them apparently stood to gain financially but others of us would lose our beautiful environment. Now Nestlé, to make it brief, they abandoned their efforts only after we had massive grassroots action here. We realized that Nestlé was really after something that was very precious to us.

So, what we did included creating and distributing two videos. We garnered the support of many environmental organizations particularly from Madison and the rest of Wisconsin and we had four years of grants from foundations that Concerned Citizens of Newport got.

Finally, as part of our public education project, we got legal assistance, a lot of it was pro bono and this delayed Nestlé’s quest for profit sufficiently that Nestlé turned away from Wisconsin. We regret that our so-called success was to Michigan’s detriment because what they did was they went to Michigan.

Then Terry Swier of Michigan recounts her group’s fight against Nestle’s pumping operation in Mecosta County, which damaged an entire watershed, leading to several lawsuits – including Nestle’s infamous lawsuit designed to severely curtail the rights of Michigan citizens to file environmental lawsuits:

Over eight years ago, MCWC organized, stood up to and challenged a large corporation, Nestlé that wanted to bottle our spring water and ship it to other states and countries for its own profit. Our lives have changed since Nestlé came to Michigan with plans to pump 720,000 gallons per day of spring water from a private hunting preserve, pipe it to its plant, bottle it and ship it out of the Great Lakes Basin for its own profit. Nestlé’s pumping has lowered a stream, two lakes and adjacent wetlands.

MCWC, Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation, has spent over a million dollars in court cost and lawyer and environmental expert fees. Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation has taken Nestlé to court to prove that water belongs to the people and ask for adjustment of Nestlé’s pumping levels to prevent environmental impacts. Nestlé has continued to run communities dry in more ways than one. MCWC is again heading back to circuit court in July 2008 to ask the judge to adjust Nestlé’s pumping limits.

Friendships had been severed as people took sides in the Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation versus Nestlé battle. Nestlé did interrogative telephone polling, asking questions about MCWC and its president. Nestlé sent private investigators to homes of people who had signed MCWC’s referendum asking intimidating questions. Nestlé has threatened a potential strategic lawsuit against public participation known as a slap suit against my son.

Throughout all of these, Nestlé proposed to be a good neighbor company to our area yet it continues to pump at high rates during periods of lower precipitation and recharge.

Next we heard from Debra Anderson of McCloud, who recounted her experience once Nestle came to town:

A special town meeting had been called to discuss the Nestlé project and many people came out so that they could actually understand what the project was, voiced their concerns and their comments and get questions asked and people were just like I said shocked when at the end of that meeting, the gavel was struck and the contract was signed for 100 years. Many felt that the public profits had been circumvented and that the deal was actually struck behind closed doors with Nestlé prior to the meeting.

This contract was egregious for numerous reasons. Not only did it give Nestlé the right to 1,600 acre-feet of spring water but it also gave them an unlimited amount of ground water. It was an unheard of 100-year contract for less than a tenth of a cent a gallon. This project would add over 600 truck trips a day, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to our beautiful two-lane scenic volcanic highway. That meant that a truck would be leaving McCloud every three minutes around the clock.

They would destroy our historical mill site by tearing down all of the remaining historical buildings and McCloud is known to being a historical mill town. Not only would they be changing the integrity of our town but also our way of life but most of all, this contract was taking the control of our water away from the local people. Nestlé had truly treated our community as though we were a third world country and this all came on the guise of boosting our economy by creating jobs which, in reality, were too few jobs for too little pay.

Finally, Ann Winn-Wentworth of Maine – vice chair of POWWR (Protecting Our Water and Wildlife) shared her experience helping to pass a rights-based water extraction ordinance in two small Maine towns:

In February of 2008, Nestlé began public hearings in Shapleigh to pave the way for large scale water extraction from our local aquifer which is on a 4000-acre Vernon Walker Land Preserve and it was discovered that those monitoring wells had been there for over three years and none of us were made aware of it. This is on land that must remain in its natural state. It was purchased with federal funds to always remain in its natural state. Many of us care deeply for this preserve and we’re [up in arms] to learn that the State of Maine who manages this land would allow a foreign corporation to go in, cut trees and install wells without any notification. Both towns, Shapleigh and Newfield, share this preserve and we were gravely concerned.

POWWR recently got their ordinance – though they had to call a special town meeting to do it – and now they’re waiting for the other shoe to drop. Will Nestle attempt to challenge the ordinance?

The similarities in the stories above are striking, and there’s little question that Nestle’s approach to small rural communities – despite the “good neighbor” happy talk – is a largely predatory one.

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Nestle Produces Rebuttal Video to Damaging FLOW Movie, Neglects to Mention One Fact: They’re Lying.

While the water documentary FLOW highlights several key water quality and ownership issues, readers of this blog might be most interested in the section on Nestle’s water bottling operation in Mecosta County, Michigan.

The film was damaging enough that Nestle felt compelled to produce a corporate rebuttal video – which sadly falls to the same level of misinformation Nestle’s applied to other “problems” (like its lopsided contract in McCloud or its multiple lawsuits against the town of Fryeburg).

If you’ve got a strong stomach, you can view the video by clicking here.

After you’ve seen it – and if you’re at all familiar with the losses Nestle’s suffered in the Michigan courts over the impacts of its pumping operation (and the fact that they were forced to dramatically curtail pumping under threat of an injunction) – you might wonder how those facts square with those “no impact” statements offered in the video.

The reason? Nestle’s lying.

Read this Jim Olson response to the Nestle Corporate video (posted on the MLive site in response to a pro-Nestle comment touting the Nestle video), and Nestle’s level of deceit becomes apparent:

I viewed the Nestle ad video last night.

Following, are the basic facts as attorney for Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation in the MCWC v Nestle case. Should you or anyone want to verify, simply read the lengthy, but informative and readable court opinions at ww.SaveMIwater.org. The story is all there. You will see how contrived and and misleading the video message and comment by Muchmore really are. Basically, the video does not disclose that Nestle lost on these statements, positions, whatever you call them, at trial.

1. Nestle held public meetings when it first entered the State, but did not disclose all the underlying hydrogeological data, that is the flows, levels,and effects of pump tests on the springs, stream, connected lakes.

2. Once MCWC and others persuaded Nestle to turn the underlying data over, it was reviewed by experts. The raw data showed springs entering the headwaters of the stream from the Sanctuary property (into the impoundment known as Osprey Lake Impoundment) basically lost most or half their flow; the flow through the outlet of the impoundment into the upper reach of the stream dropped by 50%. At one point in the pump test, a consultant measured a 65% drop in flow 1/3 to 1/2 mile downstream near the state highway M20 bridge. In addition, the computer model found no impact, because it contained a “fence” on the lake and stream parameters that assumed infinite supply of water, hence no effects.

3. Nestle hired a new expert, more data on flows, levels, and pumping, was collected, and a new model run made. The new expert’s report, recognized significant drops in flows 18% and by extrapolation as high as 35% om stream during low flow months of Summer. The model also recognized a significant drop in level of Osprey Lake Impoundment from the reduced flows.

4. MCWC’s experts found more than 28% drop in flow of stream, 2 inch drop in stream, narrowing of stream by more than 4 feet, drops in levels of Osprey Lake Impoundment by 4 to 6 inches, and the same at Thompson Lake. Freshwater biologsts and wetland experts determined that these kind of drops would have adverse environmental impacts, from loss of wetlands area and habitat, aquatic habitat along stream edges, temperature increases, exposed bottomlands, and drying of wetlands along Thompson Lake. In addition, riparian and public use diminished because of difficulty in canoing or kayaking over certain stretches.

5. Despite Nestle’s video misrepresents that there are no effects or adverse impacts, they are trying the case they lost in the trial court, appellate courts of Michigan in a video to the public. Pathetically, sad. The trial court found major effects in drops in flows and levels, and impairment of the environment, and that Nestle violated the Michigan Environmental Protection Act and its pumping caused and would cause substantial harm and interference with riparian interests and was unreasonable use under Michigan water law because of the drops in flows, levels, and impacts. The Court of Appeals, even though relaxing unreasonable us standard in favor of Nestle, concluded pumping at 400 gpm was unreasonable and unlawful, and affirmed the trial court’s findings of substantial harm and interference, and the trial court’s conclusion that, after 19 days of scientific battling in court. The trial court found Nestle’s experts were not credible, going so far as calling one a “company man.” The Court of Appeals affirmed the substantial harm findings. The Supreme Court let the findings stand, despite Nestle’s arguments to the contrary.

6. Effects and impacts have continued during the low flow seasons of 2003, 2004, 2005, ,2007. Nestle is under an injunctive order to reduce pumping below 125 gpm or more during Summer months, and that is because of effects and impacts. Nestle and Plaintiffs stipulated and agreed to these limits as part of injunction remedy after liability was affirmed.

7. MCWC and Nestle are back in court, with hearing scheduled for March 2009, to refine the injunction, because Nestle’s pumping needs to be reduced more during low flow seasons or cycles, given the continued harm.

And, yes, there is not one independent or neutral carrier in Nestle’s video. Noah Hall, despite his representations, has supported Nestle, despite his attestations he doesn’t personally do bottled water, including Nestle’s legal arguments to weaken water law to the Michigan Court of Appeals. Russ Harding was former Governor Engler’s appointed Director of environmental quality department, and issued the permits for Nestle for the 4 water wells. Harding has published pro Nestle editorials, and is basically a lackey for the industry. The local well permit guy doesn’t have the expertise or jurisdiction for his statements, and the DEQ punted its responsibility because Russ Harding, in the video, was a director. Nestle’s consultant’s statements lost or were rejected by the courts as noted above.

Jim Olson, Attorney, Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation

While Olson knocks the stuffing out of the Nestle video, it’s clear the thing’s gotten some play among what seems to be an emerging online water punditry, who seem willing to dismiss FLOW’s anti-privatization stance without noting that Nestle’s rebuttal video is wholly misleading.

Even worse, it appears Nestle operatives are posting comments on the Internet below related stories. (Witness the message-perfect comment that fired Jim Olson’s response – the work of a Nestle PR person perhaps?)

It’s either blind advocacy or stealth marketing – neither of which is exactly ethical – and it’s yet another sign of Nestle Water’s ongoing lack of integrity.

Michigan DEQ Awards Nestle Permit Despite Flawed Data, History of Environmental Damage

When Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) recently permitted yet another Nestle well (to feed its Stanfield Ice Mountain water bottling plant), the Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation (MCWC) felt a sense of deja vu.

After all, this is the same DEQ that permitted Nestle’s original bottling plant, which was later the subject of an MCWC lawsuit. That suit proved conclusively that Nestle’s bottling operations were harming the riparian habitat and watershed, and Nestle was forced to cut its water “take” by half – to 218 gallons per minute.

An unchastened Nestle – who falsely claims its operations don’t harm the environment – didn’t stop looking for new sources of water.

They found one just north of Evart in Osceola County, and the DEQ happily permitted the new well – despite the fact the data supplied by Nestle was actually collected way, way downstream from the two potentially affected (and highly prized) trout streams.

Jim Olson – MCWC attorney – said (via the Great Lakes Blogger):

“MCWC and others filed sound scientific and expert comments that the determination was flawed back in 2007. The company and DEQ relied on monitoring affects and stream measurements far below the headwaters and Decker Pond. ” Jim Olson, the environmental attorney for MCWC said. “How can you measure the harm of pumping on the upper reach of a valuable trout stream by relying on measurements below the area of influence? That’s like taking a blood pressure reading around your foot.”

It’s a good example of Nestle’s tendency to run their bottling plants into collection points for water from several locations. In Maine and Michigan, water pumping stations – which don’t provide jobs or any real economic stimulus to rural areas – are established to feed bottling plants.

Rural communities face increased truck traffic, increased water withdrawals from the aquifer, and do so without any economic benefit.

McCloud’s residents should also consider this a warning; when denied its planned water intake, Nestle simply found others sources to help meet its profit goals. In fact, its current permitted capacity is only a tiny bit less than what it originally sought.

That’s why downsizing its McCloud bottling plant is hardly a guarantee of reduced impact on Siskiyou County’s watersheds; the reduction could easily lead to Nestle running water-taking operations all over Siskiyou County – dramatically increasing the amount of truck traffic rumbling along the county’s narrow roads.

Terry Swier – the President of Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation – was unhappy with the DEQ’s approval:

“After MCWC proved in the lower and appellate courts of Michigan that spring water that  needs the headwaters of lakes and streams causes harm and should not be removed from Michigan’s watershed, the DEQ and Nestlé have teamed up once again,” she said. “And, what’s really alarming is that the DEQ’s approval yesterday comes after Michigan has supposedly enacted a new water law package that is supposed to regulate and stop this kind of nonsense.”

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