Michigan Department of Environmental Quality:
I am submitting these comments on the application of Nestle North America under the Safe Drinking Water Act for an expansion of its water withdrawal from White Pine Springs Well (PW-101), Osceola County, Michigan.
The appropriate course of action for an agency responsible for protecting the public trust waters of the State of Michigan is to not allow a doubling of water withdrawal from a sensitive watershed and important tributary of the Great Lakes. Further, the MDEQ should begin a process of independently and comprehensively evaluating the impacts of Nestle’s current permitted withdrawals on the Muskegon River watershed. This should be done before any further consideration is given to Nestle’s request to double its permitted water withdrawal.
To ensure protection of our public waters and to fully engage the public in this critically important decision affecting Michigan's Great Lakes ecosystem, I specifically urge the MDEQ to:
· Reject Nestle’s application to double the amount of water withdrawal from public well 101;
· Conduct a site-specific reviews on all of Nestle's permits issued to date to in order to comply with the Michigan Safe Drinking Water Act;
· Apply the strict legal standards and requirements set forth in all state and federal environmental laws designed to protect our public waters and uses from export outside the Great Lakes Basin, including (without limitation) Michigan Environmental Protection Act, riparian reasonable use law, public trust law, Great Lakes Compact, and the federal Safe Drinking Water Act;
· Commit to full disclosure and transparency of all relevant documents on MDEQ's website, and;
· Hold multiple public hearings on Nestle's permit request in Evart, Detroit, Flint, Muskegon, Sault Ste Marie and Traverse City.