Five locations in Pierson test well above state limits for PFAs

Posted at 6:40 PM, Apr 26, 2018

PIERSON , Mich-- State officials have revealed five locations in Pierson have exceeded the PFAs state limit of 70 parts per trillion.

The news came out during a meeting at Village Hall in Pierson involving the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and Department of Health and Human Services.

Wolverine Worldwide has confirmed to FOX 17 they used to dump at the Central Sanitary Landfill, which is at the center of the area in question.

Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAs) are contaminants from man-made sources that may be linked to cancer, pregnancy issues and hormonal interference.

"Where's the personal accountability and responsibility for any organization or business or company to the residents in this community for their public health?," asked resident Debra Cumings.

The contaminants have recently been front and center in parts of Northern Kent County, where they've been found in the water, likely connected to decades of dumping by Wolverine Worldwide and other companies.

Thursday evening, Republic Services, which currently owns the landfill said it will be providing bottled water to residents. The landfill's general manager, Todd Harland also told the crowd the landfill will remain in operation for another 40 years.

"We're victims out here now and they won't even pay to have it for peace of mind. Nobody here has peace of mind now," said village council member Brad Brewer.

Officials tell FOX 17 the Central Sanitary Landfill began taking sludge from Wolverine Worldwide sometime between 1984 and 1985 and continued until the early 2000's.

Wolverine Worldwide has issued the following statement to FOX 17:

This landfill is operated by Republic Services, and has had multiple users and parties over the years that could have contributed to the potential presence of PFOA and PFOS. Wolverine Worldwide is not  involved in testing at this location, was not invited to participate in this public meeting, and therefore has little information about this meeting beyond the public notice. Wolverine also has not been in contact with Republic.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality says while the testing area is currently contained to a couple dozen homes on private wells, they could expand the area depending on what's found. Further testing may include nearby Big Whitefish Lake.

Republic Services was advised by its attorneys to not make comments to the media at this time.

According to state, there are currently ten groundwater monitoring wells being sampled and four more will be added downhill to the areas with the highest concentrations of PFAS.