ROCKFORD, Mich. — Wolverine Worldwide has agreed to pay $69.5 million to remediate PFAS contamination in Plainfield and Algoma townships after two years of litigation.
The agreement between the shoemaker and Plainfield and Algoma townships will require the company to pay to extend Plainfield Township's municipal water system to reach 1,000 homes. The settlement will also fund a granular activated carbon filtering system for the water plant.
According to a Plainfield Township newsletter, work is expected to begin in spring of 2020 and take at least five years. Homes with the highest levels of contaminants are planned to be serviced first.
“We also appreciate being able to reach a solution without having to go to trial, which will save taxpayers the time, and the uncertainties and expense of litigation," Plainfield Township Supervisor Cameron VanWyngarden and Algoma Township Supervisor Kevin Green said in a joint statement.
The agreement is tentative. It is expected to be finalized in the next few weeks by Judge Janet T. Neff of the U.S. District Court of the Western District of Michigan. Once finalized, the settlement will end the legal dispute between the townships and Wolverine Worldwide.
"Wolverine Worldwide has been part of this community for almost 140 years, and we are committed to being party of water quality solutions for our friends, families, and neighbors in the years to come," Wolverine Worldwide CEO Blake W. Krueger said in a release.
During litigation, Wolverine Worldwide has provided more than 700 water filters to affected residents. This settlement also assures the company will continue to provide filters until the affected homes are connected to municipal water.