Michigan OKs Plan for Nestlé to Expand Water Bottling Operations Despite Public Outcry

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The state of Michigan has approved a controversial permit to allow Nestlé, the largest water bottling company in the world, to expand its operations in the state. Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality has given the OK to Nestlé to withdraw 400 gallons a minute from the state’s groundwater table despite receiving over 80,000 public comments against the project. Nestlé is not required to pay anything to extract the water, besides a small permitting fee to the state and the cost of leases to private landowners. According to one count, Nestlé’s bottled water is 7,000 times more expensive than what Nestlé is actually paying for it. Critics say Nestlé shouldn’t be allowed to profit from the state’s natural resources at a time when Michigan cities like Flint are still facing a crisis over contaminated water.

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