FLOW Letter to DEQ regarding Nestlé’s Application for Increased Pumping


On December 16, 2016, FLOW (For Love of Water) formally requested that the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) cancel its approval of Nestlé’s application to more than double its groundwater pumping for commercial water bottling from a well northwest of Evart, in Osceola County.

After conducting an independent assessment, FLOW’s environmental attorneys determined that the MDEQ made a serious legal error in January 2016, when it approved the Swiss food and beverage giant Nestlé’s site-review request for increased pumping under the state Safe Drinking Water Act, but failed to require a parallel application and review under the Water Withdrawal Law.

Accordingly, FLOW has determined that the state must rescind its approval of Nestlé’s application to increase its groundwater withdrawal from 150 gallons per minute (gpm) to 400 gpm – an increase of 360,000 gallons of groundwater per day or 131 million gallons per year – from a well built between a pair of coldwater tributary creeks of the Muskegon River.

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