Post by Ed Stasiak Post by RichA
That said, Nestle's CEO is still a bastard, as his company is sucking>
Post by Ed Stasiak
water out of Michigan’s (and other state’s) supply and paying the
state> > pennies for it, while selling it for a huge profit to dumb
If they didn't get it for pennies, you'd pay a lot more for processed drinks.
If Nestle isn’t making enough profit for their do-nothing Wall Street investors,
then they should get out of the business.
May 2, 2018
Michigan isn’t alone. Most states charge little for water bottlers like Nestlé
LANSING — Just $5,000 down and $200 per year.
That’s how much Michigan is getting from Nestlé Waters North America
Inc. to pump more than 210 million gallons of water per year from one
Osceola County well for its Ice Mountain brand. Critics say those
rates, set by the state Department of Environmental Quality, are a
But Michigan isn’t alone. Nationwide, longstanding laws allows water
bottlers to pump lots of water at little cost.
“It’s totally typical,” said Noah Hall, a professor of environment and
water law at Wayne State University. “Whether you’re taking the water
for growing crops, building widgets, drinking water or bottling it, we
Residents and businesses hooked up to municipal water systems pay
utility bills, often based upon how much water they use. Nestlé, which
has nine wells feeding its Michigan plant, pays $3.50 per thousand
gallons it pumps from two of those wells owned by the City of Evart.
Last year, that worked out to $313,000, city officials say.
But ratepayers are footing the cost to deliver the water, not the water itself.
Those wanting to tap water from beneath their own land — like where
Nestlé wants to ramp up pumping outside of Evart’s water system?
It’s cheap in Michigan and other states that operate under the English
Common Law doctrine of “reasonable use” that gives landowners the right
to use water on or under their property if it doesn’t interfere with
navigability or the rights of others.
Michigan is one of just 18 states that charge fees specifically to
water bottling companies, according to information compiled in 2015 by
the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources — all of which are fixed
license fees not per-gallon rates.
Vermont charged the highest annual licensing fee at the time: $1,390.
For other big-time water users, many states charge a permitting fee,
typically ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars,
according to the Vermont research.
Just a few charge rates based upon how much water is sucked up, but
those even those rates aren’t significantly higher.
At least $1,200 per year in water-stressed regions in Arizona, which
charges $1 to $3 per acre foot (325,851 gallons);
About $20,000 per year in Maine, which charges a base fee of $250 down
and a sliding scale of $50 per million gallons pumped;
$12,000 per year in parts of Texas that levy $10 per acre foot.
Nestlé Waters North America churned out $4.5 billion in sales last year
from 27 bottling factories for a dozen brands in the U.S. and Canada.
Michigan Rep. Peter Lucido, R-Shelby Township, said he wants to tax
companies that bottle water in Michigan. In October, he filed House
Bill 5133, which would levy a 5-cent per-gallon tax on those companies
— an effort to raise more than $20 million each year from Nestlé alone.
The legislation would earmark that money repairs to roads, bridges and
busted water and sewer systems.
The bill is a longshot. It has no cosponsors, and it has yet to draw a
hearing, though Lucido said he’s been getting a few calls from curious
lawmakers amid the hullabaloo over Nestlé.
Lucido said he’s singling out bottlers over other users because they’re
heavily profiting from the water, transporting much of it outside of
Michigan and creating plastic bottles that might end up in landfills or
“We’re letting Nestlé come into our state. They are a Swiss
organization, purging water from our aquifers. And they’re putting it
in bottles, which is totally different from a farmer, totally different
from a golf course, because when it goes into a bottle and leaves the
state,” Lucido told Bridge Magazine.
“What is the state’s compelling reason to give away free water?”
Although such fees are rare in the U.S., Lucido said they seem to work in Canada.
Ontario hiked its fees in 2017, charging Nestlé the equivalent of
$670,000 each year to take 1.2 million gallons from wells there,
according to news reports.
Nestlé says it doesn’t get the water for free in Michigan. In an email
to Bridge, the company pointed to the fees it pays Evart to use
municipal wells. And in Osceola Township, Nestlé said, it “pays the
costs to build and maintain the infrastructure, energy and taxes, like
all other Osceola Township businesses who do not rely on the
neighboring Evart municipal supply.”
Tim Ladd, the Osceola Township supervisor trying to fight Nestlé’s
proposed new pumping, said he likes the concept behind Lucido’s bill.
Hall, the Wayne State professor, said he understands the anger fueling
Lucido’s proposal. But Hall — who accuses the DEQ of focusing more on
economic development than environmental protection in issuing the
Nestlé permit — doesn’t believe taxes on withdrawals would protect
watersheds from too much pumping.
“Water is priceless, and you don’t solve the problem that we’re not
adequately protecting our water by pricing it at pennies,” he said. “I
don’t think the solution is to make the state of Michigan an economic
partner in that by collecting fees along the way.”
It ain't just North America either. Bottled water companies are
a bottle of water. Often it's no different ot what comes out of your