Read the full article by Garret Ellison (MLive)
“ROCKFORD, MI — Independent experts are questioning the adequacy of plans to examine how much fluorochemical pollution is entering the Rogue River from Wolverine World Wide contamination sites and subsequently washing downstream toward Lake Michigan.
Rick Rediske, a Grand Valley State University environmental chemistry professor who co-chairs the Wolverine Community Advisory Group (CAG), characterized efforts to sample polluted groundwater entering the river as inadequate during a June 18 online meeting.
Rediske, technical advisor to a citizen group that helped expose Wolverine’s pollution, said much more testing is needed south of Rockford, where a plume of PFAS chemicals from Wolverine’s House Street dump is entering the Rogue River.
According to the company’s plan, Wolverine’s consultants only intend to take two samples along a roughly 1,500-foot stretch of riverbank near Rogue River Park in Belmont, where high pollutant levels are believed to be entering the river, he said.
Inadequate data collection could misinform future cleanup decisions and placement of long-term wells that monitor the plume moving under Belmont, he warned.
Several river tributaries and two lakes near the dump where fish consumption advisories exist should also be tested, he said. The CAG wants the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) to conduct the sampling if Wolverine won’t do it.
‘On behalf of the CAG, I think these locations should be investigated,’ Rediske said.
Wolverine feels differently. Rediske said the company told CAG members it wasn’t planning to exceed the minimal testing required under a $69.5 million settlement with state and local governments that was signed by U.S. District Judge Janet Neff in February.
On Monday, Wolverine issued a statement saying it had agreed to a ‘comprehensive scope of environmental investigation and remediation’ approved by a federal judge.
‘This agreement included a detailed sampling plan for the Rogue River. We disagree with any suggestion that the data provided under this workplan is inaccurate or misleading, and this data includes independent laboratory reports and other items that are in EGLE’s records’…”