ROCKFORD, Mich. — Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel's office announced Monday that a community forum will be held next week to discuss remedies in the settlement between Algoma and Plainfield townships and Wolverwine Worldwide (WWW).
Nessel and the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) will host a community forum to hear residents' input on the remedies in the settlement. It will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 10 at Rockford High School in the Creative Teaching and Learning Center, located at 4100 Kroes St. in Rockford.
The $69.5 million settlement was tentatively reached in December 2019 in an ongoing litigation between the state of Michigan against WWW for the company's contamination of groundwater with per- and polyflouroalkyl, known as PFAS.
The townships and WWW have now reached a consent decree, according to the Nessel's office. The consent decree puts in place remedies that WWW adhere to in order to resolve the January 2018 lawsuit.
According to Nessel's office, a summary of the settlement will be presented and then community members will be allowed to submit comments.
The state of Michigan, Plainfield and Algoma townships sued WWW for relief following the discovery of PFAS contamination in northern Kent County residential drinking water wells from the company's use and disposal of PFAS-containing materials in its historic operations.
The proposed consent decree requires Wolverine to pay $69.5 million to extend municipal water to more than 1,000 properties. It must also continue to operate and maintain drinking water filters in the North Kent County study area where PFOA + PFOS concentrations exceed 10 ppt or other applicable criteria, and continue residential drinking water well sampling to ensure the protection of public health.
The settlement also requires Wolverine to, among other actions: conduct groundwater investigations to monitor contamination in the area; investigate and address PFAS contamination entering surface waters; and undertake response activities at the House Street Disposal Site and Wolverine’s Tannery to control these source areas. Wolverine will conduct these activities under an enforceable Consent Decree that provides EGLE the necessary tools to ensure that the required work is completed.
Anticipated new regulatory standards for PFAS compounds will apply to Wolverine.
For the proposal to resolve the lawsuit, the consent decree must still be approved by U.S. District Court Judge Janet T. Neff.
Wolverine Worldwide provided 13 ON YOUR SIDE with the following statement regarding the consent decree:
"Wolverine Worldwide is pleased to have reached a Consent Decree with the state of Michigan, and Algoma and Plainfield Townships that formalizes the tentative agreement announced in December. Wolverine Worldwide has said from the beginning that we are committed to being part of comprehensive water quality solutions for our friends, families, and neighbors, and this Consent Decree provides the right framework for that to occur. Wolverine joined the other parties in proposing a period for the public to comment on the Consent Decree before it is submitted to U.S. District Judge Janet T. Neff for approval. The Consent Decree includes a remediation plan for our former tannery and House Street disposal site, as well as the extension of municipal water to more than 1,000 area properties."
More Water Worries on 13 ON YOUR SIDE:
- High levels of PFAS at former Portage landfill could be 'migrating'
- Michigan sues 3M, 16 others over PFAS contamination
- US House passes PFAS bill introduced by Michigan representatives
- Bernie Sanders says he'll enact national drinking water standards
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