DEQ adds homes to Wolven PFAS study area

A well in the area of Elstner Avenue NE in Algoma Township. (Nov. 14, 2017)

ALGOMA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — State authorities are expanding one of the PFAS contamination study areas near Rockford to include about 100 more homes.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality said the Wolven study area is being expanded to include parcels of land between Summit Avenue and US-131, starting at 11 Mile Road and extending about half a mile north.

The DEQ says it’s expanding the study area as a precaution because of the ways streams used to run through the area, possibly carrying PFAS contamination.

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The PFAS contamination in Algoma and neighboring Plainfield Township is blamed on tannery waste dumped decades ago by Rockford-based shoemaker Wolverine Worldwide. The chemical is a likely carcinogen that has also been linked to other illnesses.

PFAS has been found in hundreds of residential wells in northern Kent County, in some cases in concentrations well above the state’s standard for drinking water of 70 parts per trillion. The highest level yet discovered — 58,930 ppt — was at a home along 11 Mile Road east of US-131, not far from the recent expansion.

Wolverine has been footing the bill for well testing and hundreds of whole-house water filtration systems for affected properties in its initial study area near its former House Street dump, the Wolven study area and the nearby Jewell study area.

RESOURCES FOR PLAINFIELD AND ALGOMA TOWNSHIP 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: