In Michigan
5:16 pm
Tue July 7, 2009

Conservation group, water-bottling company strike deal

Lansing, MI – An out-of-court settlement has ended an almost-decade long fight between a water bottling company and a conservation group. The litigation concerned the Ice Mountain plant in Stanwood, about 45 miles north of Grand Rapids.

Both sides say they've won. The Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation says there is now a permanent limit on how much the Nestle Waters Ice Mountain plant can pump from the ground. The agreement includes slowing production during the dry weeks of summer and fish-spawning seasons.

Nestle Waters spokeswoman Deb Muchmore says the deal shows the plant can operate without harming nearby waterways. Muchmore says, now, Nestle may open a second bottling plant about 30 miles away.

Michigan has had a water protection law since 2006 that requires bottlers to have little or no impact on sensitive areas such as trout streams. There are more than 200 water bottlers in Michigan.