Read the full article by Byron Tollefson (WLNS)
“GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is suing a manufacturer over alleged failure to clean up PFAS and other hazardous substances, saying FKI Hardware needs to be held accountable for leaving ‘a legacy of contamination’ in West Michigan.
FKI Hardware is based in California and now primarily does business in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The company owns nine former Keeler Brass foundry, metal finishing and plating plants across West Michigan that operated for decades until 2016.
Announcing the lawsuit Thursday, Nessel said the sites released ‘numerous hazardous substances into the environment,’ including the carcinogen PFAS, posing a risk to the people there.
‘Some of these substances at certain concentrations can seep up through the soil and pose risk to people breathing in the air in buildings and also above the contamination sites,’ Nessel said.
The contamination was in soil and groundwater at the facilities, Nessel said.
‘Michiganders have a right to live, work and play without worrying about being exposed to the risks associated with PFAS or other contaminants,’ Nessel said.
After PFAS was discovered in private residential wells in the Belmont area in 2017, linked to a local shoe manufacturer, Michigan launched a widespread survey for the emerging contaminant. Since then, state officials have detected more than 200 contaminated sites across the state.
‘The one thing we all have in common is we all have PFAS in our blood,’ Nessel said. ‘We all need to take this matter very, very seriously.’
At a former plant on Godfrey Avenue in Grand Rapids, the states says there is an ‘imminent and substantial endangerment to human health and the environment’. According to the lawsuit, the contamination is at levels ‘demonstrated to present acute negative health risks’ to people in and around the building.
‘Michigan law requires all businesses to address the pollution that they cause,’ Nessel said. ‘FKI Hardware and its predecessors have refused to do what all businesses in Michigan must do. And that is simply unacceptable.’
The attorney general claimed that despite three years of efforts from the state, FKI has not fully investigated nor addressed the pollution. Now, she wants the Kent County Circuit Court to force FKI to do so.” …