By Associated Press - Thursday, June 7, 2018

HERSEY, Mich. (AP) - State regulators have approved permits for wells to accommodate a potash mine.

Potash is a potassium-rich salt commodity that’s used as crop fertilizer. It would be extracted in Osceola County, north of Grand Rapids, by pumping water or brine into the ground.

Michigan Potash Co. could use almost 2 million gallons of water a day at the site. Some wells approved by regulators would handle leftover brine.

The Department of Environmental Quality says permit applications meet state requirements.

The potash mine is in the same region as a bottled water operation belonging to Nestle Waters North America. Critics say the mine could damage wetlands and private wells.

But Michigan Potash owner Theodore Pagano says the mine will recycle large amounts of water and use less than what’s allowed.

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