I’m not one to really talk about politics and I would rather just fish but this has caught my attention. If you are not aware of this Nestle has applied for a permit form the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to increase the amount of ground water it can withdraw from its plant near Stanwood, Michigan. Currently, they can withdraw up to 200,000 gallons per day and if the DEQ approves the new permit that amount could go to 576,000 gallons per day. Just to put things in perspective, that’s 210,000,000 gallons per year.
What is frightening and disturbing about this is the aquafer that Nestle wants to pump this from feeds the Muskegon River. The Muskegon River is home to world class runs of Chinook, Steelhead, Coho and Trout. Not to mention Smallmouth Bass, Walleye and Muskie and Northern Pike.
Now I am no “scientist” or “engineer” but it seems to me that if you draw 210,000,000 gallons per year from an aquafer that supports the Muskegon River it will have adverse impacts on the fishery, which will impact those of us that make a living on the river from guiding.
In addition all of this just smell like rotting dead salmon. The computer models that the MDEQ uses spit out that, if approved, the withdrawals would adversely impact the watershed. So once the DEQ had this information what did they do, not deny it but overrode the models and approve the permit, until the public found out about it. Oh, that was sneaky. Maybe that’s because Nestlé’s chief spokesperson on this is Deb Muchmore, who is married to Gov. Snyder’s former Chief of Staff and is a registered lobbyist.
Given MDEQ’s history of handling water in Michigan all I can say is….contact the DEQ at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell them to not approve the permit . If you don’t or this gets approved, we can all stay thirsty my friends.