Residents turn to experts for perspective on toxic water issues

Over 100 people gathered at Northview High School to learn more about the possible water contamination.

PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) – More than 100 people, concerned about the safety of their drinking water, spent their Friday night getting more information from experts.

A geologist, environmental engineer and water quality expert spoke to the crowd at Northview High School just a few hours after 24 Hour News 8 broke news of a neighborhood with water testing positive for PFAS.

Garret TenHave-Chapman, an attorney who lives in Belmont, planned the expert panel.

“I live on Herrington. My property shares a boundary with the Belmont dump, so our water’s tainted,” he said.

TenHave-Chapman said he’s dissatisfied with how Wolverine Worldwide has handled getting information and resources to residents.

“The impression I got with the Wolverine spokespeople at the earlier town hall was that they weren’t lying, but they were only telling us the truth that they wanted us to know,” TenHave-Chapman said.

It was clear from the attendance that TenHave-Chapman isn’t alone in his search for answers.

Other residents from the surrounding areas said that they were excited to learn about the panel.

“I just want information and there’s so many rumors flying around, and numbers and things and it’s just so hard to find answers,” said Carla Hardy, a Rockford resident.

Hardy said that another Wolverine Worldwide dump site was recently found about a half a mile from her house.

“It’s scary and there’s no maps telling me where this stuff is going,” she explained. “We have a well and I’ve just been wondering what we’ve been drinking for the last 16 years.”

Shellie Phillips learned about the meeting from Hardy and worried about the safety of her three kids. She said multiple dumps sites are around her Rockford home.

“We absolutely love the schools, the people, (and) the environment,” Phillips told 24 Hour News 8. “To hear something like this, it just kind of shatters all the dreams you had about this great community that you live in.”

Experts said it’ll take months before it’s clear how severe the issue is.

TenHave-Chapman said he hasn’t filed any lawsuits, but there could be lawsuits filed in the future.