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Environment & Climate Change

DEQ expands groundwater testing zone to include wells near Rogue River

Rogue River
Trout Unlimited
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Residents living near the Rogue River in Kent County will have their private wells tested for toxic chemicals known as PFAS starting in January.

More Kent County residents will have their private wells tested for toxic chemicals after the state expanded its testing zone this week.

Wolverine Worldwide manufactures shoes for brands like Hush Puppies and Merrell. The company is believed to be the source of the groundwater contamination.

This week the company began notifying residents living near the Rogue River that their water will be tested starting next month.

Wolverine has already begun passing out bottled water to people in the area, according to the company’s We Are Wolverine blog.

The company, which is facing a class-action lawsuit for its role in the contamination, is now working with the EPA to confirm the test results of private wells in the area.

“These confirmation samples are collected by EPA and sent to an independent laboratory to confirm that the results are the same as those received from laboratories used by Wolverine and the [Michigan Department of Environmental Quality],” the blog post reads. “The EPA expects to sample four or five existing monitoring wells at the House Street and Tannery locations, and approximately 15 residential wells.”

The MDEQ has not yet commented on how it is determining the testing zones, or how many more testing zones could be added before their investigation is done.

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