Townships: Wolverine won't pay for water hookups in PFAS areas

PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Leaders of Plainfield and Algoma townships say Wolverine Worldwide has halted plans to help them extend city water to residents whose wells were contaminated by PFAS traced to the footwear company's former dump sites.

An attorney for both  townships says after about a year of supporting plans to hook up water  to homes affected by PFAS contamination from the House Street dump and Wellington Ridge area, Wolverine Worldwide now says it won’t help until  3M also pitches in.

Township attorney Doug Van Essen said Wolverine Worldwide was beginning negotiations to finance the projects  when it added this "new condition." Van Essen said Wolverine Worldwide never mentioned 3M in previous talks.

However in a statement sent  to Target 8, Wolverine Worldwide said "any suggestion that Wolverine is unwilling to negotiate, has stepped away from the table, or has recently changed its position is simply untrue."

The company said on Feb. 23, it sent a letter to Van Essen, stating, “We wholeheartedly agree with the Township that many parties contributed to the water quality issues facing our community, and  believe that any long-term solution must involve all those parties.”

While 3M manufactured Scotchgard containing PFAS at one time, Van Essen pointed out 3M did not generate the waste and did not dump it, and the  Michigan Department of Environmental Quality lawsuit filed in January  over dumping only named Wolverine Worldwide.

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