Together, We’re Driving the Conversation on Nestlé Waters
Last Wednesday, almost 500 concerned citizens turned out for a public hearing on the Nestlé Waters proposal to more than double the amount of water being pumped from their White Pine Springs well in Michigan’s Osceola Township. Among them was a group of 30 water advocates from Flint, Michigan who traveled 150 miles to participate in the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) hearing in Big Rapids.
Hilliard Hampton, longtime community activist and Detroit-based Freshwater Future team member, joined the group from Flint and was thrilled with the turnout. “The energy in the room was electric and contagious,” he said, with speaker after speaker standing up in passionate opposition to the Nestlé permit and the commoditization of water. “These are just regular folks,” Hilliard notes, “but people who see and witness and have personal testimonies, these people have valuable knowledge, and they want to know our waters are protected.”
It’s a sentiment we all share. Freshwater Future members, donors, and activists have helped make this organized response possible, and together, we’re driving the conversation. In fact, the knowledge being shared—at public hearings, in public comments, in letters to editors throughout the Great Lakes basin, and on the floor of the Michigan state house—is knowledge generated by Freshwater Future.
That knowledge comes from an impartial scientific review we and the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center commissioned, which found the information provided in the Nestlé application to be insufficient. Those findings formed the foundation of the letter we submitted as public comment to the DEQ in opposition to the permit, and were so compelling that 43 organizations in our network signed on to the letter and 66 individuals modeled their own public comment letters on ours.
With your help, we’re working to ensure the final decision protects water resources. As a result of the scientific review and the tens of thousands of public comments submitted, the DEQ has required additional information from Nestlé and extended the public comment period for the third time. On top of that, a resolution was just introduced in the Michigan state House urging the governor and the DEQ to reject Nestlé’s application.
Let’s keep fighting. Urge your Michigan state legislator to support the resolution, and then renew your donation to Freshwater Future so that we can continue to work against corporate interests to protect water for all Great Lakes citizens.