Whiskey is for drinking; water is for fighting.
– Mark Twain
The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, DEQ, heard from Michigan residents in a big way. The public opposition to a new proposal from Nestle to double the amount of pure fresh water pumped from Michigan’s sole major aquifer was 80,945 against to 75 in favor.
Nestle, a company based in Switzerland, can already suck and export up to 250 gallons a minute from a well in Evart, Michigan. Now it wants a new permit that would allow the company to pump 400 gallons of water each minute of the day, 365 days a year.
The Michigan DEQ got an unprecedented number of public comments on Nestle’s pompous request, that started over two years ago.
But it’s not over. It turns out that the Michigan DEQ is powerless to stop the foreign company proceeding with their plan despite overwhelming opposition.
“We cant, we don’t have the power to say no arbitrarily. We can’t just say no for reasons that aren’t attached to the law.” said Matt Gamble, the Department of Environmental Quality supervisor who’s coordinating the response effort.
Looks like legislative bodies will have to step up and lead. We are not hopeful.