Friday, February 02, 2007

DEQ Decides to Let Nestle Rape Michigan

The Department of Environmental Quality announced its final determination today that a water withdrawal being considered by Nestle Waters of North America is not likely to cause an adverse resource impact under Michigan's new water withdrawal law. Under the law, an adverse resource impact occurs when water is withdrawn from a stream at a rate that could harm fish populations.

The decision responds to a request from Nestle for the DEQ to determine whether the proposed withdrawal would have an adverse resource impact. The DEQ supposedly took into consideration information submitted during the public comment period that followed the DEQ’s proposed determination issued in December 2006.

The DEQ's determination is the first to apply Michigan's new water withdrawal law. Because the law required the DEQ to respond to Nestle’s within a specified time period, the DEQ will continue to review and respond to additional comments on the methods it used to reach a decision received through March 15.

Nestle is proposing to withdraw water for bottling via a well in Osceola County with a maximum proposed pumping rate of 216,000 gallons per day. The proposed withdrawal would intercept groundwater discharging to Twin Creek and Chippewa Creek, two designated trout streams in Osceola Township. Based upon the calculated base flow of the two creeks, along with Department of Natural Resources studies of natural flow variation in streams statewide, the DEQ has determined that the allowable withdrawal from the two watersheds is a combined 691,200 gallons per day, well above the amount to be withdrawn by Nestle.

A copy of the determination will be posted to the department's website today at, then click on "Water".

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