MCWC delivered 345,000 signatures to DEQ on Feb. 28 from SumOfUs Petition drive, urging protection of the Muskegon River Watershed from Nestlé

SumOfUs petition urges Department of Environmental Quality to cancel a plan allowing Nestlé to acquire 210 million gallons of groundwater for $200

Lansing, MI — On Tuesday Feb 28th, residents and members of Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation will gather outside the Department of Environmental Quality’s offices in Lansing to deliver over 345,000 petition signatures calling on the DEQ to protect the Muskegon River Watershed from Nestlé’s potential acquisition of 210 million gallons of groundwater per year. The petition by SumOfUs, an international consumer watchdog, calls Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality to cancel the plan that would allow Nestlé to access the groundwater for just $200 per year.

What: Petition delivery to Department of Environmental Quality
Where: Capitol Steps,100 N Capitol Road, Lansing, MI
When: Tuesday, February 28th at 11:30 am (EST)
Visuals: Large banner reading “346,369 people and counting say no to Nestlé’s water grab”, posters reading “Protect the Muskegon River Watershed from Nestlé’s water grab”, large stacks of petition signatures

After sustained public pressure, the DEQ has invited public comment on the proposal until March 3rd. Over 21,000 residents have submitted comments thus far. Local citizens are also calling on the DEQ to hold public hearings in Evart, Flint, Detroit, Muskegon, Traverse City and Sault St. Marie so that residents’ voices can be heard.
Peggy Case, President of Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation, said “MCWC is calling, minimally, for a stop to Nestlé withdrawal from PW 101 until permit issues are resolved and the water taken without a proper permit is returned to the aquifer. We are requesting six public hearings to focus on the statewide disconnect between Nestlé takings and the shutoffs in Detroit and poisoning in Flint, as well as the flaws in state law related to water resources. We are opposed to any further withdrawals from the watersheds that all feed into the Great Lakes and insist that the State of Michigan honor its public trust responsibilities to protect our water from corporate theft.”

“Time and again, Nestlé has proven that it cannot be trusted to prioritize anything above corporate profits,” said Liz McDowell, campaign director at SumOfUs. “Nestlé is already the largest owner of private water sources in Michigan, and despite the fact that residents of Flint (not to mention Detroit) are struggling for access to clean drinking water, the company wants to take more.

“Nestlé has been sued over the alarming amounts of water it sucks out of Michigan communities. Allowing companies like Nestlé to do whatever they want undermines the public water system we all rely on, and people are taking note. The upswell of public interest in stopping Nestlé’s greedy water grab has been overwhelming – the DEQ is currently receiving a flood of public comments opposing the Nestlé proposal, and more than 345,000 people are calling on the state of Michigan to put public interest ahead of private profit.”

View the petition here: