Toxic tap water: Cleanup at dump site on hold

Landfill near Pierson no longer accepting waste contaminted with PFOS

Plainfield Township, House Street NE, Imperial Pine Drive, Wolverine Worldwide waste
Equipment at an old dump along House Street NE and Imperial Pine Drive in Belmont. (Oct. 31, 2017)


PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Cleanup work at one of Wolverine Worldwide’s old dump sites is on hold because nobody will take the contaminated waste, Target 8 has learned.

Until now, at least some of the waste from dump sites along House Street NE in Belmont has been going to a dump in Montcalm County, just north of the Kent County line. But sources close to the cleanup tell Target 8 that the Republic landfill near Pierson is no longer taking it.

They say it’s because of publicity surrounding the Scotchgard chemical, the likely carcinogen PFOS, dumped by Wolverine and now contaminating wells in Belmont.

>>Inside woodtv.com: Complete coverage of the toxic tap water investigation

That has temporarily halted cleanup of Wolverine waste from a ravine on House Street NE at Imperial Pine Street, not far from Wolverine’s bigger dump.

So far, workers have scooped about 100 yards of waste — leather scraps mixed with dirt — from the House Street/Imperial Pine site, along with rusty barrels. As many as 300 yards of waste were scraped from a state-owned site down the road.

At least some of that was taken to the Republic landfill in Pierson because of its synthetic liner designed to protect the environment.

Republic, Pierson
Photo: The Republic landfill near Pierson. (Oct. 31, 2017)

Cleanup crews on House Street said there’s at least another week of work.

The Pierson Township supervisor says he wasn’t aware Wolverine’s waste was being dumped there until Target 8 told him.

“It didn’t occur to me that they were bringing it here, and I don’t know why they were bringing it here when they’ve got a landfill in their own backyard,” Supervisor Brian Longcore said. “They can haul that stuff someplace else.”

Officials at Republic refused to comment.

The crews on House Street say they are waiting on word from Autumn Hills Recycling and Disposal Facility near Zeeland to dump the rest of the waste there.

RESOURCES FOR BELMONT RESIDENTS:

If you are eligible for a whole-house water filtration system from Wolverine Worldwide, you can call 616.866.5627 or email HouseStreet@wwwinc.com.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Environmental Assistance Center can be reached at 1.800.662.9278.

Websites with additional information on the contamination: