Nestle asks for more groundwater as plant expands in Evart, Mich.

EVART, MICH. - Food and drink company Nestle is planning to significantly increase the amount of Michigan groundwater it pumps from under the state in conjunction with a $36 million dollar expansion of its Ice Mountain bottling plant.

MLive reports that Nestle Waters North America is asking the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality for permission to increase pumping from 150 gallons-per-minute to 400 gallons-per-minute at one of its production wells north of Evart.

The department issued a draft approval for the request in January. It's accepting public comment on the proposal until Thursday.

The company and the department say an environmental review shows the aquifer can handle the more than doubled withdrawal and that it won't hurt the flow, levels or temperature of nearby surface waters.

The Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation has called for more scrutiny on the plan.

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