Press Release July 22, 2018: Response to Governor Rick Snyder’s
Inaccurate Nestle Remarks on WDIV ClickOnDetroit
The term-limited Governor of Michigan, Rick Snyder, thinks the recent permit
issued to Nestle to increase pumping at the White Pine Springs well in Evart has
nothing to do with business. It’s just good science and the MDEQ followed all the
rules, so Nestle is entitled to pump 210 million gallons of water per year for $200
from one well while Detroit gets more shut-offs and Flint is still forced to use
bottled water and drink toxic micro-plastics on top of the remaining lead.
Apparently, our Governor is not aware that Michigan Citizens for Water
Conservation (saveMIwater.org) filed a petition for a contested case hearing with
the Administrative Law Court on June 1, as did the Grand Traverse Band of
Ottawa and Chippewa.
The MDEQ may have followed some of the rules coming from our flawed state
laws, but it failed to follow the most important ones. The ruling was based on
anything but good science. The real science required by the Safe Drinking Water
Act in fact was not done by Nestle and it took the DEQ almost two years to figure
out how to twist the computer data around to claim Nestle deserved the permit.
We disagree. In fact, we are questioning all three permits issued for this well,
though the challenge can only address the last in terms of filing time limits.
We have engaged in the very expensive process of challenging this permit
(around $50,000) on behalf of our members who live on the affected streams and
also on behalf of the 80,000 residents who opposed the gift to Nestle of Great
Lakes waters. The governor has spent the last four years or more making sure
that business came out ahead of people and the environment. He, through his
emergency managers has made the Flint Water Crisis into a very profitable
operation for Nestle and the banks holding the bonds for the privatized KWA
pipeline. This has been all about business and the profits of Nestle have been
We stand with the majority of the Great Lakes Basin peoples in opposing the
privatization of water, draining of the public aquifers for private profit, and
denying the people the right to govern the commons for the good of all. We
welcome all support from our allies in this battle. We take no corporate or
government money, however. None of our officers’ plan to become lobbyists for
multi-national corporations once we finish our volunteer service to water
conservation. We look forward to seeing what the next business of the Governor
will be once his term is over. We intend to remain to fix the loopholes in state and
federal laws that allow water injustice to occur in our water wonderland.
Real science tells us that water is essential to life. It is not a commodity to sustain
a business opportunity and generate a profit for corporations.
Peggy Case, MCWC President
Also published on Medium.