In April of 2017 the Osceola Township Planning Commission denied Nestlé Waters North America a permit to build a new pumping station in order to double the amount of water they extract from the ground to sell as Ice Mountain Spring Water. The Zoning Appeals Board agreed with the planning commission, and now Nestlé, despite still not having approval from the state to double output, will drag the township before a judge on Wednesday, November 15, 2017.
The push to increase output began in the fall of 2016 when Nestlé applied for a permit with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. Public comment prompted a pseudo-hearing at Ferris State University on April 12, 2017. Six days later, the Osceola Township Planning Commission refused the permit to expand the pumping station at Spring Hill Camp.
While Nestlé and the planning commission are in court on Wednesday, a silent vigil will be held in Reed City in front of the courthouse at 301 Upton Street from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM. There will be a press conference at 1:15 PM. The hearing begins at 2:00 PM.
Clearly Nestlé’s plans are not in compliance with the zoning requirements of the township. There is no error in decision, as Nestlé alleges, but a careful consideration of what is best for the township, and the people who live there. Nestlé pays a paltry $200.00 a year for the privilege of pumping millions of gallons out of the ground at the expense of the environment and quality of life for the people of the region. Nestlé profits selling Northern Michigan’s water while only 150 miles away Flint, Michigan, has gone without drinkable water for three years thanks to the enduring legacy of the Michigan Republican Party, the MDEQ, and Rick Snyder.
If you can attend the vigil, please do and show your support for the Osceola Township Planning Commission making the right decision for this Northern Michigan community.