KALISPELL - A three-day hearing into whether a Flathead County company can bottle water out of Creston ends without testimony from The Montana Artesian Water Company's owner.
The company is seeking a permit to pump about 625,000 gallons of ground water a day to bottle up and sell nationwide.
Company owner Lew Weaver was expected to testify in the public hearing Thursday, but his representation says he had a medical emergency and could not be there.
As a result, the hearing will not continue Friday, but the record will remain open for a possible testimony at a later date.
A large group of Flathead Valley residents objecting to the permit say it was disappointing that Weaver did not testify in a public setting today.
"We feel that we should have the opportunity have Mr. Lew Weaver in a public setting as everyone else has been and we feel just getting him in a lawyer's office with the two sets of attorney's isn't really fair that he should have to be abled to be questioned in a public setting," said Deirdre Coit, chairmam of Water for Flathead's Future
Coit says if the ruling is not in their favor they will appeal the case in District Court, while company representative Darryl James says they are prepared to immediately begin production at the plant if if the permit is issued.
The DNRC's hearing examiner has up to 90 days to issue a decision.