With the non-stop coverage of what some might call a B-horror movie in the White House, a lot of important issues get lost in the pile. One of those being the suffering residents of Flint, Michigan and their fight for clean drinking water, including an attempt now from the Nestle Corporation to milk it dry.
The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has reportedly given the green light to Nestle’s plan to increase the amount of water it extracts from the state. And despite the fact that a whopping 80,945 residents said they were against the action, the Michigan agency is permitting Nestle to move ahead with their plans to pump 576,000 gallons of water each day from the White Pine Springs well in the Great Lakes Basin.
It is very clear this permit decision is of great interest to not only residents in the surrounding counties, but to Michiganders across the state as well, MDEQ Director C. Heidi Grether said in approving the permit. In full transparency, the majority of the public comments were in opposition of the permit, Grether added, but most of them related to issues of public policy which are not, and should not be, part of an administrative permit decision.
If the plan goes forward, Nestlé will be approved to pump up to 400 gallons of water per minute from the well, as opposed to the 250 gallons per minute it previously was extracting. The company first applied for the new permit in July 2016.
“The state says Nestlé has to complete a monitoring plan and submit it to the DEQ for approval,” MR reports of the 58-page final memo from the Michigan agency.
Nestle is notorious for its greedy practices and exploiting the issue of access to clean water. For example, Nestle CEO Peter Brabeck once said that access to water is not a public right, as if clean drinking water is like a luxury car or something. Nowhere is the issue of access to clean water more relevant than in the economically depressed city of Flint, Michigan. Residents are already facing long-term health consequences after being exposed to dangerous amounts of lead, and the actions of Nestle are only going to make their fight for clean water even harder.
In addition to that, Newsweek reported just last month that Flint is still needing to distribute 22,000 bottles of water per day to residents and school children who still don’t have a clean water source.
Would it be insidious or somewhat realistic to think that Nestle will be possibly selling Michigan back their own water?
Featured image via YouTube