LANSING -- By a 4-3 vote, the Michigan Supreme Court today narrowed
a landmark environmental protection law that allowed state residents to sue to
block development projects they think would harm the environment.
The court said in its decision that local residents have the right to sue
Nestle Waters North America and its bottled water operation over potential
damages to the Dead Stream and Thompson Lake in Mecosta County, but don't have
the legal standing to sue over a nearby lake and three wetlands because they
don't use those areas.
The decision hinged in part on the state Supreme Court's 2004 ruling
rejecting the idea that a 1970 state law allows literally anyone to sue to
halt pollution or other environmental degradation.