Before they even get a ruling from the Department of Natural Resources, Osceola Township is sidetracking Nestlé’s plan to pump out more water for their bottling plant in Stanwood.

Instead of 250 gallons, Nestle is asking the DEQ for permission to pump 400 gallons per minute from a well they own near Evert. But while the DEQ considers that request, the Osceola Township Planning Commission is denying the company a permit to build a big new pumping station they say is needed to get the water to Stanwood. At a hearing Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2017 a judge listened to both sides.

“Nestle has an extractive operation meeting all of the standards for the issuance of a special use permit,” argued company lawyer Bill Horn. “They boosting pump needs to be installed to allow Nestle to produce more ground water.”

“We are working with them,” said township lawyer William Fahey. “We have tried to work with them but so far they have not complied with what the zoning ordinance requires.”

The judge has not said when she will rule on Nestlé’s pump station appeal. And the DEQ has not yet decided if Nestle may increase the amount of water they withdraw from their well near Evert. Opponents say the amount they already pump out hurts the environment. Supporters say the bottling plant provides jobs and tax revenue.

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