Read the full article by Cheyna Roth (MLive)
“KENT COUNTY, MI — Homeowners with contaminated wells in the House Street and Wellington Ridge areas in northern Kent County are set to be the first to receive municipal drinking water as part of a lawsuit settlement.
A township attorney involved with the settlement told a public gathering Tuesday night that those two areas will get first priority because of the relatively high levels of contamination.
Rockford-based shoe maker Wolverine World Wide announced in December that it would pay $69.5 million for new municipal water mains and filtration in northern Kent County. The company contaminated the groundwater in the area with toxic fluorochemicals in waste that was dumped and disposed of in the area.
The tentative construction schedule for 1,000 new municipal hookups in the Plainfield and Algoma townships area was explained during a public forum Feb. 4. This is part of a consent decree between the township, the state and Wolverine World Wide.
Construction to extend water mains and service lines and plug wells is expected to take about four years, said Doug Van Essen, an attorney for Plainfield Charter and Algoma Township.
Van Essen told attendees of the public forum that the goal of the settlement is to have a plan in place the will help the residents for decades to come.
The parties are working on a tight deadline. They need to get the consent decree finalized and signed off by federal judge Janet T. Neff within 10 days, Van Essen said. That’s so they can put bids in in time for the 2020 construction season.
A map of the areas that will get municipal lines and when each will occur was displayed during the forum.
Van Essen said township officials plan to post the map on the township website.
The areas in green are scheduled to begin construction first. After that, developers will work on a new area each following year. The plan is for the brown/amber colored area to be second, followed by the blue, and finally the yellow area.
‘It’s all by the test results,’ Van Essen said about how they decided the schedule.
House Street and Wellington Ridge area get first priority, he said, because ‘Wellington Ridge and House Street have the high levels. You know, where you have over 1,000 parts per trillion in some areas? Those two areas, the DEQ (Department of Environmental Quality) wanted us to get water to faster.’
The next area up for construction is around the Blythefield Country Club.
The Rogue River is a sort of touchstone for where construction is focused, with early construction concentrated on the areas north and northwest of Blythefield along the Rogue River. That’s because of the movement of PFAS plumes, Van Essen said.
‘The plume is coming from House Street, it’s going under the freeway in that green and amber areas,’ he said. ‘So the House Street plume is really mostly concentrated between that green and amber.’
Those areas need to be addressed quickly, Van Essen said. But once those lines are put in, they’ll focus on the blue area, which is north of House Street. It’s immediately to the west of the 10 Mile interchange and flows north toward the Rogue River…”