Public gets more time to comment on bottled water proposal

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Michigan officials are giving the public an additional 90 days to comment on a bottled-water company’s request to sharply increase its groundwater pumping from a well in Osceola County.

The Department of Environmental Quality said Tuesday it also will convene a public hearing sometime before the comment period expires March 3, 2017.

Nestle Waters North America last month announced a $36 million expansion of its Ice Mountain bottling operation near Stanwood in Mecosta County.

The plan calls for boosting withdrawals from a well in neighboring Osceola County from 150 gallons per minute to 400 gallons per minute. That’s an increase of 167 percent.

The company says the increase may have minor effects on wetlands and stream flows but not enough to be harmful. Environmentalists say the proposed increase is excessive.

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