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Wolverine Worldwide extends filtration program, but limits offers

Wolverine initially offered whole house filters to any well with a PFAS detection. Now the company is only offering them to homes with levels exceeding EPA safe drinking limits.

Wolverine Worldwide has changed its mind about how much protection the shoemaker will provide to northern Kent County homeowners with contaminated water linked to company waste.

More than 550 private wells are contaminated with the toxic PFAS chemicals that once helped waterproof leather at Wolverine's tannery in Rockford. More than 100 of those wells have levels of combined PFOS and PFOA over 70 parts per trillion (ppt), a level deemed unsafe by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the state of Michigan.

Wolverine has provided more than 500 whole-house carbon filters to homeowners since November. In a blog post Monday, Wolverine Worldwide said the company is extending the promise of those filters to homes in the the Wolven-Northeast, Rogue River and North Childsdale testing zones.

The major difference: whole-house filters will only go to homes with wells testing above 70 ppt. Homes with PFAS detections below the safe drinking limit will "receive point-of-use filters for their kitchen sink[s]."

Just six weeks ago, Wolverine Worldwide posted a blog touting its whole-house filter program offered to homes with any PFAS detections in previous testing zones, including the area by the company's old Belmont dump on House Street. Wolverine said, "While the extent of any impacted area has not been determined, and sources are still being identified, we remain committed to the community and doing what we believe to be the right thing for our friends, family and neighbors."

More than 100 homes in the Wolven-Northeast, Rogue River and North Childsdale testing zones have detectable levels of PFAS below 70 parts per trillion.

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