Wolverine Worldwide Provides Additional Details on Groundwater Filtration System for Former Tannery Property

Wolverine Worldwide recently submitted a Response Activity Plan outlining additional details on the groundwater filtration system we have been designing and installing at our former Tannery property in Rockford.  The goal of this system is to intercept and filter groundwater underneath the property, preventing PFAS from flowing into the neighboring Rogue River.  The system builds on extensive testing performed over the last few years, which is summarized in reports here and here.

Our plan includes the installation of 19 extraction wells on the former Tannery property – 13 on the south side of Rum Creek and six on the north side of Rum Creek (see well locations on the map below).  Three of these wells have already been installed, along with nine monitoring wells.  The other extraction wells will be installed after approval of the plan.  This well network will capture groundwater underneath the property, which currently flows naturally into the river, while keeping the remaining water table balanced.

Once the groundwater is extracted, it will be sent to a small treatment building to be constructed on the northern edge of the property.  There, the groundwater will be filtered using granular activated carbon (GAC), which has been proven to be highly effective at removing PFAS. The filtered water will be tested regularly to verify the effectiveness of the system, and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (“EGLE”) will receive regular testing reports as part of its oversight of the system.

After the groundwater has been extracted and filtered for PFAS, it will be discharged to the Rogue River where it would have naturally flowed.  This will require a permit from EGLE, and until that time, the system can operate on a limited basis by discharging treated water to the North Kent Sewer Authority.

EGLE held a public meeting on May 5 to review and receive public comments on the groundwater filtration system detailed in our Response Activity Plan, and is accepting written public comments through May 22.  For more information, please click here to review the full plan.

This groundwater filtration system is only one part of our remediation work on this property, where we also completed a significant excavation and riverbank restoration project in 2019 and 2020.  For more details on that project, please click here and here, and for more details on our other remediation work in the area, please click here.

We will continue keeping the community informed through regular updates on this blog, www.WeAreWolverine.com, and through information posted at kiosks and in other locations accessible to the public.  As always, residents with questions or feedback are encouraged to contact Wolverine Worldwide directly at HouseStreet@wwwinc.com or (616) 866-5627.

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