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AG Nessel announces next step toward settlement of lawsuit against Wolverine Worldwide over PFAS

Running faucet
Melissa Benmark
Michigan Radio

State Attorney General Dana Nessel announced that paperwork has been filed on a proposed settlement with Wolverine Worldwide over PFAS contamination.

Nessel’s office announced a tentative agreement in December. The state and two townships in northern Kent County had filed lawsuits against the shoe company for contaminating water with chemicals in the PFAS family.

The agreement calls for Wolverine Worldwide to pay more than $69 million to extend water systems to more than 1,000 homes that currently have well water.

Wolverine is also responsible for keeping up water filters in affected areas, and to continue sampling for contamination.

Nessel’s office says it will hold a public forum on the agreement on February 10th at Rockford High School.

A U.S. district court judge has to approve the agreement to resolve the lawsuit.

Wolverine Worldwide issued this statement:

Wolverine Worldwide is pleased to have reached a Consent Decree with the state of Michigan, and Algoma and Plainfield Townships that formalizes the tentative agreement announced in December. Wolverine Worldwide has said from the beginning that we are committed to being part of comprehensive water quality solutions for our friends, families, and neighbors, and this Consent Decree provides the right framework for that to occur. Wolverine joined the other parties in proposing a period for the public to comment on the Consent Decree before it is submitted to U.S. District Judge Janet T. Neff for approval. The Consent Decree includes a remediation plan for our former tannery and House Street disposal site, as well as the extension of municipal water to more than 1,000 area properties.

This story has been updated to include the comment from Wolverine Worldwide.

Dustin Dwyer reports enterprise and long-form stories from Michigan Radio’s West Michigan bureau. He was a fellow in the class of 2018 at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard. He’s been with Michigan Radio since 2004, when he started as an intern in the newsroom.
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