Michigan residents deplore plan to let Nestlé pump water for next to nothing – Jessica Glenzain New York Saturday 5 November 2016 09.00 EDT Last modified on Saturday 5 November 2016 10.41 EDT


In a state still reeling from the Flint crisis the Swiss company would get nearly free access to pump 210m gallons a year for its bottled water business

 Nestlé HQ in Vevey, Switzerland. ‘Why on earth would the state of Michigan … even consider giving MORE water for little or no cost to a foreign corporation with annual profits in the billions?’ Photograph: Laurent Gillieron/AP


Nestlé HQ in Vevey, Switzerland. ‘Why on earth would the state of Michigan … even consider giving MORE water for little or no cost to a foreign corporation with annual profits in the billions?’ Photograph: Laurent Gillieron/AP

Michigan regulators were deluged with angry comments this week, after reports that the state had drafted a permit approval for Nestlé to nearly double the amount of groundwater it pumps from a plant in Evart, Michigan to 210m gallons a year.

The pumping increase is only expected to cost the Swiss food giant $200 a year, and possibly the price of a permit fee, because its bottling plant in Evart is considered a private well under state law, regulators said.

In a statement, Nestlé touted the move as a boon to the state because it is created “some 20 new jobs”. The company is valued at $219bn.

Some local residents were not so enthusiastic.

“Why on earth would the state of Michigan, given our lack of money to address water matters of our own, like Flint, even consider giving MORE water for little or no cost to a foreign corporation with annual profits in the billions?” a man from Ada, Michigan wrote to regulators, who provided the message and others to the Guardian.

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