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(3,746 posts)
Thu Jun 6, 2024, 11:33 AM Jun 6

Michigan Bottlers Still Get Free Water, Despite Governor's Tough Talk


Michigan Bottlers Still Get Free Water, Despite Governor’s Tough Talk

by Anna Clark, photography by Sarahbeth Maney
June 6, 5 a.m. EDT

Tough talk followed a public outcry six years ago, but the push for policy reforms and monetary compensation has petered out.

When Gretchen Whitmer campaigned for Michigan governor in 2018, she took aim at Michigan’s bottled water industry — and the state policy that gave it unfettered access to free water.

Nestle was extracting hundreds of millions of gallons of groundwater a year, which it bottled and sold under the Ice Mountain brand. The only cost: a $200 yearly fee per site. The company asked the state for a 60% boost in how much it could take from a well that draws from the source of two cold-water trout streams. At the time, the Flint water crisis was still in the spotlight, contributing to broad pushback. Nearly 81,000 public comments opposed the permit request; 75 supported it.

In April of that year, state officials said they didn’t have any grounds to deny the request and gave Nestle the go-ahead. The same week, the state said it would stop providing bottled water to Flint.

The contrast seemed clear: Nestle gets free water, Flint families don’t. And one of the staunchest critics of the arrangement was Whitmer, a rising Democratic leader who had served 14 years in the Legislature.


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Michigan Bottlers Still Get Free Water, Despite Governor's Tough Talk (Original Post) cbabe Jun 6 OP
A hill to die on. SarahD Jun 6 #1


(1,732 posts)
1. A hill to die on.
Thu Jun 6, 2024, 11:47 AM
Jun 6

Once in a while, Democrats need to dig in their heels and refuse to budge. Seems like this would be an example.

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