Nestle won’t appeal ruling on bottled water pumping


STANWOOD, Mich. (WOOD) — Nestlé Waters North America has effectively abandoned plans to increase its groundwater pumping rate near Evart, with the county announcing it would not appeal a Michigan Court of Appeals ruling.

In December, a three-judge panel unanimously overruled a circuit judge who had granted the company’s request to build a booster pumping structure in Osceola Township.

The building, OK’d by the state in 2018, was necessary to increase the water Nestlé pumps from 250 gallons per minute to 400 gallons per minute for its Ice Mountain bottled water plant in Stanwood.

The booster station would have gone in an area zoned for agricultural use, so it required township approval. The township denied the request in 2017, which sparked a court battle that culminated Wednesday with the company’s decision to not file another appeal.

In a statement, the company said:

“Nestlé Waters North America (NWNA) will not appeal the Dec. 3 Michigan Court of Appeals ruling, which reversed the decision of the Circuit Court. We firmly believe that the Circuit Court was correct in ordering Osceola Township to issue a permit for our request to build a small, 12-foot by 22-foot building, to house a booster pump that would increase pressure along our pipeline to transport additional water from the White Pine Springs source.  We believe the plan we proposed met the Township’s site plan and special land use standards. However, the matter has now been before two courts which reached different decisions. At this point, further litigation is not in anyone’s interest, so we have decided to explore other options to transport the water withdrawn from White Pine Springs. From the beginning, our goal with this request was to reduce, as much as possible, any impact to the local community and the environment. Nestlé Waters has worked to be a good neighbor to Osceola Township for over 17 years. We value our relationships with Township residents and community leaders, and always strive to create shared value within the communities where we operate.”

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