Wolverine Worldwide would like to underscore its commitment to developing long-term groundwater water solutions for the community. We’ve said from the start that we plan to see this issue through to the end, and our goal continues to be providing the residents of our hometown the confidence they deserve in their water. We believe our voluntary and diligent actions to date are evidence to our past and on-going efforts to “do the right thing.”
These actions include providing water to residents as they wait for test results, paying for more than 1,500 groundwater tests, installing over 70 monitoring wells, and installing more than 500 whole-home filters – the vast majority of which are in homes with non-detects for PFOA/PFAS or with levels well below the Michigan criteria and federal advisories of 70 ppt for PFOA/PFOS. In addition, we continue to work diligently with local, state and federal regulators, and recently announced that we’ve pledged $40 million towards our continuing efforts to address these issues for our community and our friends, families, and neighbors who live here.
At the same time, we’re entering a new chapter, and we are forced to defend ourselves in various legal proceedings. While we intend to remain a good partner and corporate citizen, and ultimately to be a part of the solution to the issues facing our community, we will simultaneously protect and vigorously defend Wolverine against these lawsuits. For a company that has been around for over 140 years and both a leader and contributor to this community, no one should expect anything less from us.
The bottom line is that many of the allegations made by plaintiffs’ attorneys in the state court lawsuits are misleading and simply not supported by the facts. There is no imminent danger to the health of anyone involved in these lawsuits, and the vast majority of these plaintiffs had safe drinking water even before Wolverine voluntarily provided them with alternate water solutions. Those that exceeded the Michigan criteria and federal advisories of 70 ppt for PFOA/PFOS have all been provided bottled water and/or water filters at Wolverine’s expense.
Wolverine also believes certain issues raised in the federal class action lawsuit should be addressed before proceeding with individual state court lawsuits and, because of this, we have asked the Kent County Circuit Court to put the individual state court lawsuits on hold.
We started this blog to speak directly to the community and to help keep the facts straight, and we intend to do just that. Any residents with questions are encouraged to contact Wolverine directly at (616) 866-5627 or HouseStreet@wwwinc.com.
We Are Wolverine.