In our continuing effort to keep the community informed about Wolverine Worldwide’s efforts to address water quality issues in the area, we wanted to take this opportunity to provide an update to the community on the steps we have taken to-date and will be taking in 2019.
Wolverine’s Commitment to the Community
Wolverine Worldwide’s commitment to helping our friends, family, and neighbors address water quality issues in the area has never wavered. From the start, we’ve taken proactive, aggressive actions to ensure all affected residents have access to safe drinking water. In addition, we have worked closely with U.S. EPA, MDEQ, and other regulators to test sites for the presence of PFOA and PFOS, two of the chemicals from 3M Scotchgard™ used in Wolverine’s legacy operations.
Some of our other actions include:
- Sampling more than 1,500 residential wells for PFOA, PFOS, and other PFAS compounds
- Providing proven, highly effective water filters to over 700 homeowners. For the latest information demonstrating the effectiveness of these filters, please click here
- Monitoring over 500 whole house filters and resampling the water in those homes, some as often as weekly
- Conducting thorough environmental investigations at the House Street and former Tannery properties – including drilling over 70 monitoring wells and collecting and analyzing over 1,350 soil samples, 350 groundwater samples, 100 sediment samples, 100 soil gas samples and 14 surface water samples. For more information about this work, including a description of recent testing and next steps, please click here
- Designing and installing a filtration system at our former Tannery, to capture and treat groundwater before it reaches the Rogue River. For the latest information about this system and other actions we are taking, please click here
- Meeting weekly with the State of Michigan and other regulators to analyze data and discuss next steps
- Committing over $35 million to these efforts directly benefiting our community
Despite ongoing litigation and administrative actions, our collaborative relationship with regulators has not changed, and we continue working productively with them on solutions for our community.
Wolverine’s Commitment to Collaboration and Response to Litigation
At the same time Wolverine continues to work tirelessly on behalf of our community, we have repeatedly said that we will vigorously defend ourselves against litigation and take action to ensure that all involved parties – including 3M and our insurers – take responsibility for this matter. Most recently, for example, Wolverine filed a lawsuit in federal court against 3M, which developed, tested, manufactured and sold Scotchgard™ to Wolverine and millions of others for decades, yet has repeatedly refused to accept any responsibility for the consequences.
One subject that has come up is a Plainfield Township plan to extend its municipal water system to certain homes in the area. Wolverine has said from the start that we intend to be part of developing water quality solutions for our community – and our actions to-date have backed up these words. Whether these solutions include the extension of municipal water, and whether Plainfield Township or a different entity would be the supplier, however, has not yet been decided. Those decisions will be based on facts and data that are still being gathered, as well as discussions with regulators and other involved parties – not through rhetoric and grandstanding by Township officials.
Finally, we firmly believe all parties – including 3M – must be involved in discussing and developing solutions. Far from representing a change in position, as Township officials have claimed, this has been Wolverine’s position from the start, which we have expressed publicly, privately, and in court by suing 3M and our insurers.
Wolverine’s Next Steps
Over the coming months, we will continue working hard every day on behalf of our friends, family, and neighbors in the community, and working collaboratively with regulators and other involved parties on next steps. Additional information will be posted on our blog, WeAreWolverine.com, as it becomes available, and in the meantime please feel free to reach out to us directly at (616) 866-5627 or HouseStreet@wwwinc.com.