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Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation v. Nestle Waters N. Am., Inc.

ELR Citation: 37 ELR 20193
Nos. Nos. 130802, 130803, (Mich., 07/25/2007)

The Michigan Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part a lower court ruling that environmental groups have standing to bring a claim against a bottled water company under the Michigan Environmental Protection Act (MEPA) for allegedly damaging certain streams, lakes, and wetlands. Case law provides that "environmental plaintiffs adequately allege injury in fact when they aver that they use the affected area and are persons 'for whom the aesthetic and recreational values of the area will be lessened' by the challenged activity." Here, the groups indisputably have standing to bring a MEPA claim against the company to protect their riparian property rights to Thompson Lake and the Dead Stream. However, there is no evidence that the groups use the Osprey Lake Impoundment and the wetlands at issue and that as a result, their recreational, aesthetic, or other interests have been impaired by the company's pumping activities. The court, therefore, reversed the lower court's ruling in this regard.