Appeal to be heard on Nestle pumping station in November

OSCEOLA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A November hearing is planned on an appeal related to a bottled-water company’s plans to pump more groundwater in western Michigan.

The Osceola Township Planning Commission in April rejected a request from Nestle Waters North America for a permit to build a new pumping station. A zoning appeals board later let that denial stand. Nestle says the decision was reached in error.

The Ludington Daily News reports 51st Circuit Court Judge Susan Sniegowski was appointed to hear the case and a hearing is set for Nov. 15.

The permit would be for the pipeline booster station at Spring Hill Camp. It’s part of the company’s proposal to withdraw up to 400 gallons per minute from a well in Osceola County.

Nestle’s state permit request on its pumping plans is pending.

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1 Comment

  • GB

    What allows Nestle to pump for free?

    In Michigan, Nestle extracts water under what’s known as the “reasonable use” doctrine, a riparian right with roots in British common law. The doctrine allows landowners use of water on or under theirs and adjacent property as long as that use doesn’t adversely impact neighboring ground or surface waters. The philosophy holds that nobody really “owns” the groundwater, but everyone has the right to use it in a reasonable fashion in connection with the overlying land.

    “Michigan doesn’t really have anything written down anywhere which says ‘this is what you can do,'” said Andrew LeBaron, a water quality analyst who tracks usage statistics for the DEQ.