December 9, 2003
Terry Swier, President Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation
Jim Olson, Attorney for Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation
JUDGE RULES AGAIN IN FAVOR OF MICHIGAN CITIZENS FOR WATER CONSERVATION
Mecosta, Michigan, December 12, 2003 – Judge Lawrence Root heard Nestle’s motion for stay today and ruled in favor of Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation. The Judge heard nothing new to change his opinion and ordered Nestle/Ice Mountain to stop all “spring water” pumping from the Sanctuary Springs by midnight December 16, 2003. Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation and its plaintiffs R. J. and Barbara Doyle and Jeff and Shelly Sapp vs. Nestle Waters North America, Inc. brought the lawsuit to the courts in June 2001. The Judge’s decision is grounded on long standing riparian and groundwater system legal principles that prohibit diversions and sale of water outside of a watershed.
Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation is sorry to hear of the lay-off of 120 workers at the plant. Terry Swier, president of Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation said, “It is really a matter between the company and the employees it hired. The Judge warned Nestle/Ice Mountain twice that it was building and continuing to expand at its own risk and it chose to forge ahead with the building of the plant and the production of bottled spring water. We would hope that the company informed its employees of this risk when they were hired.” The only reason jobs are at issue is because Nestle insists on a marketing goal of labeling its bottles as “spring water”, when most all of the water bottlers in the state do fine with selling water that is not taken at the expense of our lakes and streams. The 175 gallons per minute well at the plant can be used for its bottles jus! t as it is for other containers it sells. “The ‘jobs’ threat is being used to stir emotionalism, when in fact these few jobs are at the unnecessary expense of the state’s streams, lakes, or wetlands and the hundreds of thousands of jobs that depend on the integrity of our waters,” Swier said.
The Judge made his own findings of fact and applied the law in a conservative and proper fashion. Everyone has to uphold this decision as correct; a lot of effort has gone into bringing this case to the courts.
Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation
231-972-8856 phone and fax