MCWC Opening Statement: January 24, 2017

Press Conference for Statewide Public Hearings on Nestle’s Application Permit for 400 gallons a minute “water taking” from White Pine Springs Well 101 in Evart, Michigan

We’d like to thank you all for being here with us in the middle of the road in the middle of winter.

Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation is calling for the Department of Environmental Quality to hold a series of public hearings around the state on Nestle Corporation PERMIT. The Nestle Permit to the DEQ proposes an increase to 400 gallons a minute from the White Pine Springs Well 101. This Well is located in Osceola Township just north of the city of Evart.

Currently the DEQ only has one Public Hearing on the Nestle Permit for the city of Big Rapids.

We believe that the Nestle increase is not a local issue, but it a STATE of Michigan Issue, and also pertains to the amount of water in the Great Lakes Basin. Please remember that there are no limits on the amount of water being taken from groundwater or spring water that feeds into creeks, which feeds into rivers to our Great Lakes.

Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation believes there is a serious disconnect in Michigan’s water policies that requires attention before increases or new water taking permits are granted.

The application before the DEQ will permit the Nestle Corporation to take 400 gallons a minute from this one well, every minute of every hour of every day. That is approximately 210 million gallons a year. If granted this permit will cost the Nestle Corporation a $200 fee, or less than a one dollar per million gallons of fresh water.

Thousands of Detroit residents have been cut off from their household water supply for non-payment of water bills which are usually for less than 60 thousand gallons per year

The residents of Flint on average pay $910 a year for contaminated water that is not safe to drink. This is the most expensive water for households in the United States.

Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation is specifically requesting that the DEQ hold public hearings in more than one location. We are asking that Public Hearings be held in Evart, Detroit, Flint, Muskegon, Sault St. Marie, and Traverse City.

There must be a hearing in Evart. The Nestle Corporation has already taken more than 4 billion gallons of water from the Evart area. That amounts to a half gallon and a glass of water for every man, woman and child on planet earth.

There must be a hearing in Muskegon because the Muskegon River empties into Lake Michigan in Muskegon. Water policies that reduce river flows concentrate contaminants and decrease the vitality of both Muskegon River and Lake Michigan.

Traverse City was selected because of its prominence in northern Michigan and like many communities its special relationship with Lake Michigan.

We believe there should be one in Sault Saint Marie as the people in the Upper Peninsula have a huge stake in the Great Lakes Watershed and are concerned that policies with regard to Nestle takings may endanger their water in the future.

Detroit is critical because of the . . .

Flint is critical for a hearing as wat. . . .

MCWC is seeking hearings in these communities, If the DEQ would like to conduct additional hearings in other communities Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation would welcome that.

Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation is seeking these statewide hearings in order for the DEQ and our state governments to understand the ramifications of the Nestle Corporation’s application to increase their water taking and the clear and present need for serious improvements in Michigan’s laws and regulations regarding the use and takings of Michigan’s second greatest resource.

We ask all people who agree to EMAIL the Director of the DEQ and Governor Snyder to demand statewide hearings on the Nestle Corporation’s application to increase their water taking at the White Pine Springs Well 101 in Evart, MI

Email addresses to DEQ and Governor

Heidi Grether, DEQ Director at GretherH@michigan.gov

Governor Snyder at Rick.Snyder@michigan.gov

Please pick up a handout to give you specific information on these EMAIL Addresses.