State unaware of 3M warning to Wolverine in 1999, opening review

PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich.  — A Target 8 investigation that found Wolverine Worldwide was warned nearly 20 years ago about the potential dangers of a chemical in 3M’s Scotchgard is leading to a state investigation.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality said it was unaware until Friday’s Target 8 report of a letter from 3M to Wolverine in 1999 warning of the potential hazards of PFOS in Scotchgard.

“The DEQ takes the issue of full transparency of historical information very seriously as this is very important information in our site investigations,” state Department of Environmental Quality spokeswoman Melanie Brown wrote in response to Target 8’s report. “The department is reviewing the newly obtained 3M correspondence and is looking forward to discussing with WWW how this new information correlates to the background information they previously have provided to us.”

3M, the Minnesota-based company that made the Scotchgard chemical that has contaminated wells and raised fears of cancer near Rockford, told Target 8 on Friday that it warned Wolverine Worldwide about the chemical nearly 20 years ago. It also provided Target 8 with a letter it had written to Wolverine in 1999.

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