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E-M:/ Granholm Puts Moratorium On Bottled Water Permits

This was released today by the governor. 

Granholm Issues Executive Directive Placing Moratorium on Bottled Water Permits
Nestle Issued Limited Permit in Evart

– Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today issued an executive directive that places a moratorium on permits and approvals for new or increased bottled water operations in Michigan, until such time as the Legislature passes comprehensive water withdrawal legislation.  The moratorium is designed to provide the state the opportunity to fully study the appropriateness and the impact water bottling facilities have on Michigan’s water resources.
Michigan is blessed to be surrounded by 20 percent of the world’s fresh water supply, and we must not be reckless in protecting it,” Granholm said.  “As stewards of the Great Lakes, we must ensure these facilities are not causing long term harm to our most precious natural resource.”
The directive calls on the Legislature to enact comprehensive water withdrawal legislation as outlined in the Governor’s proposed Water Legacy Act and to give definition to what constitutes a diversion of
Great Lakes water.  The act would give the state the necessary tools to effectively evaluate proposals for the bottling of water and monitor these operations.
“We need a comprehensive framework for managing the withdrawal of our
Great Lakes water,” Granholm said.  “We need to protect our water and ensure that it can be used responsibly.”
The moratorium applies only to new permit applications and does not affect existing bottled water operations or facilities with permits pending before the state.  It does not apply if the bottled water operator is willing to certify that they will distribute only within the
Great Lakes Basin.
The debate on this issue escalated in recent months when the City of
Evart entered into an agreement with Nestle Waters North America for the sale of water from the city’s municipal water system to Nestle for bottling.  The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) today issued a permit to Nestle that contains special conditions requiring them to certify – every three months – that spring water from the Evart plant is distributed only within the Great Lakes Basin.
“The permit issued to Nestle allows the company to use our state’s resources, but ensures that they will be used responsibly,” said DEQ Director Steven E. Chester.  “The Legislature now must take action to provide us with the needed path forward on this important public policy issue.”


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David Holtz
Michigan Director
Clean Water Action
Clean Water Fund
517-203-0754 East Lansing
313-300-4454 cell

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