Water

A group of Michigan lawmakers is asking the Environmental Protection Agency to do more to investigate nearly 30 toxic chemical contamination around the state. Eight Republicans and six Democrats signed a letter to the EPA on Tuesday asking the agency to help with the state's response to perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl water pollution.

Water faucet
Public domain image / Wikimedia.org

Court records show that a shoe manufacturer reached an agreement with a Michigan township nearly 50 years ago that allowed the company to continue dumping tannery sludge in the area as long as the waste didn't contaminate water.

The Grand Rapids Press reports that attorneys representing local homeowners summarized the 1966 court settlement with Plainfield Township in a lawsuit recently filed against Wolverine World Wide. The lawsuit alleges that the company's old landfill in Belmont contaminated water with perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl.

A lawsuit alleges that General Motors has contaminated water near a Michigan testing facility since the 1980s and has attempted to cover it up. The lawsuit was filed Thursday on behalf of six Brighton Township residents who allege that the Milford Proving Grounds contaminated water with high levels of sodium and chloride. The lawsuit says the facility released thousands of tons of salt over the past 30 years.

A judge is promising a decision in the weeks ahead after hearing arguments in a dispute over a company's bid to pump more water for the Ice Mountain brand.

Nestle Waters North America sued after Osceola Township rejected a permit in Osceola County in western Michigan.

Nestle wants to withdraw up to 400 gallons a minute, with help from a pipeline booster station at SpringHill Camps, a summer camp.

Michigan officials say the state's investigation into old tannery waste disposal has expanded. The state Department of Environmental Quality says it's now investigating 75 sites for toxic industrial chemicals that were used by Wolverine World Wide to waterproof shoes.

Department spokesperson Mel Brown says about 26 locations have been referred to the shoe manufacturer for further testing. State officials say the latest testing area includes about 100 homes in Rockford.

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The Annis Water Resources Institute's Dr. Alan Steinman discusses their happenings every other month. Today we talk about the distinguished alum in residence and get an update on Wolverine's groundwater issues.

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Governor Rick Snyder has signed a spending bill that includes more money to prosecute members of his administration for their roles in the Flint water crisis. The $600,000 will go to state Attorney General Bill Schuette’s office.

State Health and Human Services Department Director Nick Lyon and Chief Medical Executive Eden Wells are among those charged. They face manslaughter charges related to a fatal outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has given a shoe manufacturer a deadline to handle the scope of a toxic chemical plume leaking through the groundwater from the company's landfill.

The Grand Rapids Press reports that the department sent a letter to Wolverine World Wide on Friday regarding the fluorochemicals coming from the Belmont landfill. The agency is giving Wolverine until the end of January to comprehensively model the plume amid a long list of work deadlines associated with both the Belmont plume and the former Rockford tannery.

Sandy Wynn-Stelt lives on House Street in Belmont, and next to the dump site Wolverine Worldwide used to legally dispose of waste sludge back in the 1960’s. Today, her water is contaminated with toxic pre-and polyfloral alkyl substances, known as PFAS, and out of all the homes in the area, her water has the highest level of the toxic chemical. She says, when she found out, it took time for the gravity of the situation to sink in. 

Federal regulators say Michigan should increase funding and staffing of its Department of Environmental Quality and take other steps to ensure its drinking water is safe. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency made the recommendations Thursday in a report evaluating the state's overall performance but emphasizing the situation in Flint, where residents were exposed to lead-contaminated water for at least 18 months.

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