Michigan Attorney General
G. Mennon Williams Building
526 W. Ottawa
P.O. Box 30212
Lansing, Mi 48909
Dear Ms Nessel,
We are submitting the following formal complaint to your office on
behalf of Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation (MCWC) and its many
members. This has nothing to do with our contested Case challenging the
latest Nestle permit issued in April of 2018 to increase pumping in Evart.
This complaint has to do with the destruction of our natural resources
and the collapse of an entire aquatic ecosystem within Osceola
township, Osceola County in violation of both Michigan’s Constitution
and Michigan law.
Nestle began purchasing water from the aquifer in the City of Evart in
2005. They began pumping ground water flowing to White Pine Spring
during 2011 on a permit received in 2009. Nestle’s well is exactly located to
capture the ground water flowing to White Pine Spring, which in turn gives
life to both Twin and Chippewa Creeks. By doing so, Nestle is blocking the
flow of water to the spring and thus to two listed cold water trout streams.
Soon after Nestle began its pumping operation area residents began
to find changes in the creeks. Each following year became worse. In July of
2017 we began a series of surveys not only of the two streams but the
aquatic ecosystem as a whole. The results of the first survey, which was
sent to MDEQ, are submitted with this complaint.
Since 2011, each year we find less water in the streams. Currently
spring fed feeder streams that traditionally carried a flow of 12 inches of
water now contain 1 to 3 inches of water. The impressive head water spring
to Chippewa Creek no longer flows and is completely dry. It is located
about 1500 feet south of Nestle’s well. Private spring fed ponds that have
always contained water have dried up and have not recharged.
Private water wells have changed from soft water to hard and owners have
to purchase water softener systems.
Chippewa Creek flows into a lake, flows out as a stream and
continues on to the Muskegon River. The lake has always held water, even
in times of extended drought. During the summer of 2019, at the very same
time when area streams were over-flowing their banks and washing out
county roads, and water was running across US-10, the lake disappeared,
leaving an extensive island of mud. A mere 7 inches of water was flowing
through the upstream culvert at the time. This is the least amount of water
recorded in four years of monitoring.
During July of 2000 the MDNR fisheries division had surveyed both
streams, researching Whirling Disease in trout. We were able to obtain
their report. They found trout up to 16 inches in Chippewa Creek and trout
up to 20 inches in Twin Creek. In 2018 we paid for a research study on
trout in both streams. During the same year MDNR also conducted studies.
Both studies coincide very closely. Only 3 trout over 10 inches were found,
the result of extremely low water.
When Nestle first appeared in Osceola County a local well driller in
Evart erected a huge sign on US-10 telling Nestle to go home. He advised
that between industry, business, private wells and the City of Evart the
aquifer had declined by 10 feet already. When contacted in 2017, he
advised that the aquifer had now declined by 14 feet and was not
recharging. Nestle began drawing water from the City of Evart in 2005 and
has drawn up to 121,000,000 gallons a year apparently from a declining
It is imperative that government must enforce the provisions set
forth in Article IV, section 52 of the Michigan Constitution to provide
for the protection of the air, water and other resources of the state
from pollution, impairment and destruction.
It is imperative that Michigan state government enforce the
provisions set forth in the Michigan Safe Drinking Water Act
connected to the Natural Resources and Environmental Act which
states that ground water pumping must have no negative impact on
We have more resources and contacts to make available to you as
you pursue this complaint. We look forward to your response. We are
available to meet with your representatives. We are prepared to show your
representatives the real life consequences and damage to these creeks.
We anticipate that you will want to put a stop to this destruction as soon as
Peggy Case, President,
for the Board of Directors, MCWC
P.O. Box 132
Honor, Mi 49640
current board member, MCWC
4111 Wild Turkey Trail
Reed City, Mi. 48677