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Poisonous Chemical compounds Present in Wells Close to Michigan Shoe Producer’s Headquarters



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ROCKFORD, Mich. (AP) – Assessments present poisonous chemical substances in wells close to the headquarters of a western Michigan shoe producer, years after the corporate dredged and transferred river sediment from a leather-processing tannery.

There is no such thing as a dispute Wolverine Worldwide used a 3M Co. waterproofing product that contained PFAS, referred to as “ceaselessly chemical substances,” and has settled lawsuits over land and effectively contamination within the Rockford space, north of Grand Rapids.


However now there`s a brand new growth: not less than 27 properties have contaminated wells in Courtland Township close to firm headquarters in Rockford, reported.

“It’s early on and we’re nonetheless sort of ready to determine what the extent is and what the perfect motion to take is,” mentioned Matt McCannon, the township`s elected supervisor. “We’ve prevented it up till now.”


Wolverine posted a press release on-line final week, saying it had state approval to “often dredge sediment from the Rogue River in entrance of our former tannery to make sure correct operation of the water consumption pipes.”

The sediment was then positioned at headquarters property within the Eighties and early 2000s, Wolverine mentioned.


“We’re actively working to establish and delineate the sediment, and can coordinate with EGLE to find out any subsequent steps,” Wolverine mentioned, referring to state regulators.

The effectively at Janet Washburn`s dwelling significantly exceeds the state’s threshold for dangerous chemical substances. She mentioned she has had kidney most cancers and different well being issues.


“We’ve all the time eaten proper. We don’t drink, we don’t smoke, and I used to say to my husband, ‘How can we be so medically challenged once we take excellent care of ourselves?’” mentioned Washburn, who’s in her 70s and has lived in her dwelling for 46 years.

The Kent County well being division is giving affected residents a kitchen water filter.


PFAS had been used to make Scotchgard, a 3M waterproofing product utilized by Wolverine, which has plenty of manufacturers, together with Hush Puppies, Merrell, Keds, Saucony and Chaco.

In 2019, Michigan authorities introduced a $69.5 million cope with Wolverine that included an extension of public water to areas in northern Kent County the place PFAS-laced sludge was dumped. Wolverine mentioned Minnesota-based 3M was protecting a lot of that settlement.


Three years later, in 2022, there was a separate $54 million settlement involving 3M, Wolverine and house owners of 1,700 properties within the county.

A water researcher assessments a pattern of water for PFAS, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023, on the U.S. Environmental Safety Company Heart For Environmental Options and Emergency Response in Cincinnati. (AP Picture/Joshua A. Bickel)




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