Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy Director Says Benton Harbor Water Unsafe to Drink, Situation ‘Inexcusable’

Main Street Downtown Benton Harbor

When Liesl Clark, director of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE), was asked five times in a row whether Benton Harbor’s water was safe to drink, she repeatedly said, “the state of Michigan wants citizens to be drinking bottled water.”

“Come on, let’s talk like normal people here,” Rep. Steve Johnson, R-Wayland, responded. “It’s a normal question: Is the water in Benton Harbor safe to drink or not?”

Clark eventually answered “no,” and recommended residents drink bottled water.

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Michigan’s EGLE Denies Conservation Group’s Challenge to Nestlé Water Withdrawal Permit

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy dismissed a case challenging the department’s issuance of a permit to increase water withdrawals by Nestlé Waters North America (NWNA) in Osceola County.

EGLE announced on Friday it would dismiss the case, which was filed in 2018 by the Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation (MCWC) and the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians. An EGLE statement stated the groups “erred in not appealing the permit directly to circuit court.”

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