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Flood of comments pushes DEQ to expand public review on Nestle water pumping permit

Nov 8, 2016

Americans love their bottled water.

This permit would allow Nestle to pump 200 million gallons a year. If the company pumps at that full amount, it would basically quadruple the amount of water it pumps now.
Credit Lauren Luci / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Statistics from the Beverage Marketing Corporation tell us that while sales of soft drinks, fruit drinks, sports drinks – even milk – have dropped over the past 15 years, sales of bottled water are booming.

In 2015, Americans guzzled nearly 12 billion gallons of bottle water. That’s a big jump from the 4.5 billion gallons we drank in 2000.

All that demand means Swiss corporation Nestle wants to pump more water out of the ground in West Michigan. It wants to increase pumping from 250 to 400 gallons a minute at one of its wells near Evart in Osceola County.

And the public nearly missed its chance to comment on the proposal.

Michigan Radio’s Rebecca Williams and Mark Brush looked into this for the Environment Report. They joined Stateside to explain what’s going on. You can hear that conversation above.

For more, check out today's Environment Report here.

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