The MDEQ and the Snyder Administration have failed (again) to fulfill their public trust responsibilities as defenders of our waters.
While we are continuing to analyze the state permit and accompanying documentation, and will have a comprehensive response in the near future, some things are clear. The DEQ issued Nestlé a permit to pump up to 400 gallons per minute, or 576,000 gallons per day, on the condition that Nestlé submit a monitoring plan and hydrogeologic measurements on flows and levels and agree to reduce pumping to 250 gallons per minute when the measurements show adverse effects.
The DEQ is going to issue the permit now and wait to make the determination of harm later. This is not a “reasonable basis for a determination” of effects before the permit was issued, which was what the law required.
We’re disappointed that the MDEQ not only ignored the clear opposition of tens of thousands of Michigan citizens who have opposed this giveaway of publicly-owned water, but also ignored serious deficiencies in Nestlé’s application.
Michigan went down the wrong path a decade ago when it approved a law treating private capture of water and sale for profit as just another water withdrawal. It is not. Commercialization of public water is a betrayal of the public trust.