ROCKFORD, Mich. (WOOD) — The state is now accepting public comments on Wolverine Worldwide’s updated plan to clean up PFAS in the Rockford area.
In March, the state denied the company’s plan to cleanup PFAS pollution caused by its former tannery. At that point, the state laid out a list of points that needed to be addressed and Wolverine resubmitted its plan last month.
At a virtual meeting Tuesday night, the state went over the revised plan, which includes trenches to help filter out PFAS near the tannery site.
“The geology of the tannery is very complex and unique. There are a lot of different layers of sediments and waste that aren’t continuous across the site. The layers start and stop. So the proposed design of the interceptor system was modified to consist of trenches instead of individual extraction wells. The trenches are going to cut across all of those layers to intercept all of the little layers that may contain water in the upper aquifer at the tannery,” explained Leah Gies, an environmental quality analyst with Michigan’s department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy during the meeting.
The state will now take written public comments about the plan through June 30. People can send comments by email to EGLE-RRD-HouseStreet@Michigan.gov or by mail to Leah Gies, EGLE-RRD, 350 Ottawa Avenue NW, Unit 10, Grand Rapids, MI 49503.
The state has also identified two new PFAS contamination sites in the Rockford area. One contamination site is the Bofors Nobel EPA Superfund site in Egelston Township. The other is approximately 100 acres of vacant residential land near Rockford, listed as 5312 11 Mile Road, which is across the street from the former Wolverine Worldwide warehouse building and kitty-corner to the company’s headquarters.
It’s one of the more than 100 alleged dumping areas in Kent County that the state investigated back in 2018. Recent testing of groundwater showed PFAS levels above criteria at the site. The state has reached out to sample 22 drinking water wells in the area.