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E-M:/ Fwd: DEQ- State Gives OK to Perrier for Water Supply Wells

Enviro-Mich message from "Jack, Rita" <ritaj@umflint.edu>

-----Original Message-----
From: Pat Watson [mailto:WATSONPE@STATE.MI.US]
Sent: Wednesday, August 15, 2001 2:25 PM
Subject: New DEQ Press Release - 08/15/01

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                           	
August 15, 2001                                 	

Contact: Ken Silfven
(517) 241-7397

State Gives OK to Perrier for Water Supply Wells

An application to construct and operate two wells in Mecosta County as sources for bottled drinking water has been approved by the Department of Environmental Quality.

The DEQ review, which included substantial public input, found that the proposal by the Perrier Group of America meets Michigan's stringent permitting requirements and will not pose a significant adverse impact on the area's surface or groundwater resources.  The company also does business as Great Spring Waters of America.

"Our extensive review finds that this proposal is fully consistent with the proper use and protection of Michigan's natural resources," said Flint Watt, chief of the DEQ's Drinking Water and Radiological Protection Division, who issued the permit.  "I appreciate the professionalism of DEQ staff, as well as the participation of those individuals and organizations who contributed to this decision-making process."

The permit allows construction of two wells and pumping equipment for a total 200 gallon-per-minute capacity, piping facilities from the wells to the processing plant, and an intermediate pumping station.  

Perrier also has requested approval for two additional wells and an ultimate withdrawal rate of 400 gallons per minute, the amount on which the DEQ's hydrogeological assessment was based.  The company must submit an application for the two additional wells to the DEQ.  The analysis found that even a withdrawal rate of more than 400 gallons per minute would not have significant adverse impacts on adjacent private wells, or surface water bodies and wetlands.

A May 16 DEQ public hearing was based on the 400 gallon-per-minute withdrawal rate.  All issues raised by the public during the meeting and through written comments have been studied.

Some area residents had questioned whether the project would result in lower groundwater levels and impact surface waters or wetlands.  The DEQ analysis shows no significant adverse impact on groundwater levels of adjacent private wells or on the surface water and wetlands at the 400 gallon-per-minute rate.

The question as to whether the project constitutes a diversion of Great Lakes water also was raised during the public comment period.  The DEQ concluded that it does not, based on the customary exemption of water that is used for food products, beverages or bottled water and the traditional definition of diversions as being bulk exports out of the Great Lakes basin.  There currently are other companies in Michigan that draw water for use in soft drinks and other products without regulation as diversions.


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