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E-M:/ on the subject of gutting MEPA

The Grand Rapids Press articles yesterday on the Michigan Supreme Court's flawed, ideological and outrageous MEPA decision were enlightening, but contained a few items that need clarification.

A spokesperson for Nestle is quoted as saying that weakening MEPA "doesn't matter" to Nestle. Which is curious, since Nestle initiated the cross appeal that attacked the standing of citizens and constitutionality of MEPA. If Nestle had not initiated this attack on MEPA, the Court could not have decided the issue. Nestle can spin away, but it can't spin the facts out of existence. This ruling is a direct result of its actions.

In a companion piece on Nestle's Stanwood plant, the reporter says the Court "ruled against the environmentalists who have sought for years to limit Nestle's pumping," implying the ruling will remove limits on the pumping. Not so. The lower courts imposed limits on Nestle's pumping (25% of the permitted rate in drier months, 50% of permitted rates during the rest of the year) after finding and affirming that the pumping causes harm to a lake, stream and adjacent wetlands. The Supreme Court in fact let stand MCWC's victories on the harm and limits to Nestle's pumping. Nestle has lost the ability, for now, to turn a river and lake system into a mud flat. Which should be helpful in drought periods, or as climate change affects Michigan stream flows.

By the way, has the DEQ or Governor yet taken a position on the Supreme Court's gutting of MEPA, especially now that a former Republican governor has spoken out against the Court majority?

Here are links to the two articles in question.