An old Tannery site in Rockford tested positive for varying levels of PFAS on Thursday, Nov. 9.

According to a press release from Wolverine Worldwide, the groundwater samples taken from existing monitoring wells at the site ranged from 12,700 parts-per-trillion to 490,000 parts-per-trillion in one spot.

“Swimming, kayaking, or other recreational contact with Rum Creek or the Rogue River does not present a health risk to individuals,” said Dr. Janet Anderson, a toxicologist and PFOA/PFOS expert at Integral Consulting. “These recreational activities, including any incidental consumption of water, would not increase anyone’s health risk.”

The site has been closed since 2009.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality issued the following statement in regard to the test results:

The Michigan DEQ is extremely concerned about the high contaminate amounts depicted in this report which is why we are focused on ensuring that any potential health risk is mitigated and contamination is thoroughly investigated. We are currently reviewing the report submitted by Wolverine World Wide (WWW) to confirm the data and conclusions presented.

The department has requested WWW develop a work plan and schedule to fully define the vertical and horizontal extent of impacts to groundwater, soils, surface water and sediments by November 27, 2017. Additionally, we have requested that they provide us with a site model that includes cross sections that locate former buildings and industrial piping runs, iso-concentration maps for both ammonia and PFAS separately, data tables, and all other relevant information.

The DEQ is committed to ensuring that residents have a healthy and safe environment, which is why we are leaving no stone unturned in our investigations to determine the true extent of any potential contamination.

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