Topic

environment

209 petitions

Update posted 4 days ago

Petition to Rick Snyder, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, Michigan State Senate, Michigan State House, Heidi Grether, Bryce Feighner, Matt Gamble

Limit Nestle’s Michigan Water Withdrawals

Our names are Yousef Emara and Nathan Koh. We are eighth graders in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Our class completes a Sustainability Action Project (SAP) by choosing a cause in which we can make a positive impact.  We have chosen to raise awareness of Nestle’s water pumping practices in Michigan and petition the state legislature and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) to reject an increase in Nestle’s pumping rates in White Pine Springs, Osceola County, Michigan. Why This Issue Matters  In many countries, including the United States, there is little limitation on the rate at which water can be pumped out of aquifers (underground water reserves).  Water bottling companies have been pumping billions of gallons of water out of aquifers and impacting the watershed and surrounding environment and selling water bottles for 3000 to 5000 times more than they pay for it.  One such pumping site is Nestle’s well field in White Pine Springs, Osceola County, Michigan, which is part of the Muskegon River watershed.   What This Means for Michigan  Nestle runs a plant for its two water bottle brands, Ice Mountain and Pure Life, in Stanwood, Michigan.  The company operates three well fields with a total of seven wells, all within the Muskegon River watershed.  According to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), Nestle pumped more than 3.4 billion gallons of water from its three Michigan well fields between 2005 and 2015.  In 2015, Nestle was given approval by the MDEQ to pump 250 gallons per minute at White Pine Springs Well in Osceola County.  The company now wants to increase the amount of water it pumps from this well to 400 gallons per minute. Nestle would pay the state of Michigan $200 per year for this increase. According to a test conducted in August 2000 by Malcolm Pirnie Inc., Nestle’s White Pine Springs Well pumps water from an underground aquifer that is connected to the aboveground water system through a permeable layer of Earth, called a leaky aquitard.  Pumping water from the aquifer can drain significant amounts of water from above. This indicates that the wetlands and wildlife above the ground are at high risk of being harmed by Nestle’s pumping.  Residents, like Rhonda Huff, as reported by the MLive newspaper on April 9, 2017, noticed that water levels in Osceola County’s Chippewa Creek, which flows into the Muskegon River watershed, have significantly dropped in recent years, affecting trout populations.   Nestle needs a permit from the MDEQ in order to increase the rate at which it pumps water.  The MDEQ requires the use of a Water Withdrawal Assessment Tool to determine the impact of proposed water withdrawals on fish and wildlife in the area.  Nestle’s proposed water withdrawal increase to 400 gallons per minute failed to pass MDEQ’s Water Withdrawal Assessment Tool. However, the MDEQ can and did overrule the failing grade determined by the Water Withdrawal Assessment Tool. Nestle’s plan to increase the amount of water withdrawn to 400 gallons per minute would undo an agreement with environmentalists reached more than seven years ago for a well field in Sanctuary Springs, which is also part of the Muskegon River watershed.  In 2001, Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation sued Nestle over potential damage to the system of lakes, rivers, and streams that its water withdrawal would cause.  An agreement was reached in 2009, limiting the amount of water the company could pump. What You Can Do To Help Please sign our petition!  Help us in reaching our goal of 10,000 signatures to present to the state legislature and the MDEQ. Thank you for taking the time to protect our most precious resource – water.  

Yousef Emara
73,298 supporters
Started 6 days ago

Petition to Kraft Heinz

Kraft Heinz: It's time for sustainable packaging

I am fed up with the amount of single-use plastic that ends up in my recycle bin each week. It is wasteful and problematic for our planet. I am asking Kraft Heinz Company to extend their environmental Corporate Social Responsibility goal to include enabling their end consumers to reduce household waste. This can be done through alternative packaging (including quick-degrading plastics, paper-based packaging, glass, and metal) and reuse programs. "One of the most ubiquitous and long-lasting recent changes to the surface of our planet is the accumulation and fragmentation of plastics," wrote David Barnes, a lead author and researcher for the British Antarctic Survey. Plastic is extremely slow to break down, and plastic breakdown isn't always a good thing, as it release chemicals that can be harmful to humans and the planet. For this petition, I am addressing a leading manufacturer and distributor of sauces, dressings, and condiments, so that they will use their leadership role to make a change in this market. Kraft Heinz produces and distributes everything from baby food to jams and ketchup. These convenience products are staples in most North American homes, and they account for an enormous amount of plastic. In its Corporate Social Responsibility Report (CSR), Kraft Heinz declares, "Every stage of our operations presents an opportunity to eliminate waste. We have been focused on finding ways to reduce, reuse or recycle to divert solid waste from landfills." As they declare in their CSR, Kraft Heinz is a "global food powerhouse." If they change, the entire market can shift. _____ Read the Kraft Heinz Corporate Social Responsibility Report (CSR) (PDF download)

Wynn Anne Sibbald
228 supporters