OSCEOLA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WWJ/AP) – A judge says a bottled-water company should be allowed to build a pumping station as part of its plans to get more groundwater in western Michigan for the Ice Mountain brand.
Nestle Waters North America sued after Osceola County’s Osceola Township rejected a zoning permit. Nestle wants to withdraw up to 400 gallons a minute, with help from a pipeline booster station at SpringHill Camps, a summer camp.
Mason County Judge Susan Sniegowski ruled this week, ordering Osceola Township to issue a permit for construction of the station.
Nestle says it’s pleased with the ruling. Osceola Township says the judge improperly analyzed its zoning ordinance.
The permit dispute is separate from a decision to increase water output. That request is pending at the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. Environmentalists critical of the request say the plan could hurt wetlands if the company were permitted to drain more underground water for its Ice Mountain bottling operation. Nestle representatives say the increase wouldn’t hurt the environment.
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