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Public Hearing Scheduled For Proposed Creston Water Bottling Plant

Site of the Montana Artesian Water Company bottling plant near Creston, MT.
Nicky Ouellet
/
Montana Public Radio
Site of the the proposed Montana Artesian Water Company bottling plant near Creston, MT.

A public hearing on a proposed water bottling plant in the Flathead Valley starts Tuesday morning in Kalispell. Montana’s Department of Natural Resources is holding the hearing to determine whether to grant a water right to the Montana Artesian Water Company.

The DNRC’s Kathy Olson says it could last through Thursday.

"I've been with the department for 13 years and this is the biggest one [hearing] that I am aware of," Olson says.

The water bottling plant has been contentiously debated for a year and a half.

Opponents say granting the company a water right would threaten their water supply and require a larger industrial operation than the Flathead Valley should have. Lew Weaver, the owner of the company, has repeatedly said that he plans to use only a fraction of the right he's applied for.

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality granted the company a discharge permit in August. This week’s hearing is about whether DNRC will grant the company a permit to draw water.

The hearing starts at 9 a.m. Tuesday at the Fairbridge Inn in Kalispell.

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