Nestle wants to double its current groundwater withdrawal from aquifers that feed Lake Michigan, from 250 gallons per minute to 400. They reached an agreement two-and-a-half years ago after a prolonged fight with environmental groups to keep their withdrawal rates to 150 gallons per minute– and now they already want to bump up their siphoning by 167%.
Interestingly, Nestle is able to drain all this water without being charged anything except a permitting fee and a lease to a private landowner, which Nestle more than makes up for with its $13 million tax breaks from the state*. Meanwhile, Flint residents are still being forced to pay for their poisoned water, and a huge proportion of Detroit residents are getting their water shut off because they cannot afford to pay their water bills.
The DEQ has extended the public comment period until March 3rd due to public outcry in November and December. Submit a comment at this page, or visit this page to contact the DEQ directly. You can also urge them to hold a hearing, which the agency has promised to do promised to do prior to March 3rd (but no hearing has occurred so far).
*Source: Democracy Now!. “Michigan’s Water Wars: Nestlé Pumps Millions of Gallons for Free While Flint Pays for Poisoned Water”. 2017.
Image source: MLive. “Nestle water opponents push for more public hearings around Michigan”. 2017.