“ROCKFORD, MI — Testing has found extremely high levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, in Rogue River foam below the Rockford Dam, a popular fishing spot in northern Kent County.

Total PFAS in a foam sample from April 13 hit 296,584 parts-per-trillion (ppt), according to data collected by state contractors and publicly disclosed on Tuesday, June 5.

The levels prompted a warning from state and local health officials to avoid ingesting the foam, which tested at 4,200 times the federal advisory level for PFAS in drinking water.

‘It’s high,’ said Steve Kelso, spokesperson for the Kent County Health Department. Although few are likely to eat river foam, there are concerns about incidental exposure to people who might get some in their mouth while boating or fishing.

‘Those numbers were such that we thought we needed to issue an advisory,’ Kelso said. ‘We’d be remiss if we saw levels like that and didn’t seek to inform people’s behavior.’

The foam is downstream of the former Wolverine World Wide tannery site in Rockford, where extremely high PFAS levels are confirmed in shallow groundwater just steps from the riverbank…

On Tuesday, Wolverine said it’s working with the DEQ on a plan to ‘intercept and treat groundwater from the former tannery site’ that would prevent PFAS from reaching Rum Creek or the Rogue River.”

Read the full article by Garret Ellison