Read the full article by Michael Oszust (WoodTV)
“Wolverine Worldwide and Plainfield Township are looking to the courts to resolve a dispute over the settlement to extend municipal water service to areas where the shoe manufacturer’s waste contaminated private wells with PFAS.
Plainfield Township said Wolverine Worldwide does not intend to pay roughly $19 million of the total $69.5 million settlement. In response, the township said it filed a request Friday for the federal court to get involved to force Wolverine to pay the remainder of the settlement.
Wolverine Worldwide said it agreed to pay the total actual costs to extend municipal water to more than 1,000 properties in Plainfield and Algoma townships — with a maximum of up to $62 million. It says the project is almost complete and has paid over $40 million, which is almost $20 million under budget. However, Wolverine claims the township is demanding the full $62 million, which it says is in direct conflict with the settlement agreement.
Wolverine said it filed a request on Thursday in federal court ‘to hold Plainfield Township to the terms of the Consent Decree, to confirm that Wolverine’s payment is limited to the Township’s total actual project costs, and to prevent the Township from recovering costs that it has not incurred.’
Township claims in court filings that Wolverine has not paid for the costs of extending the water, which was just one part of the projects included in the settlement. The township said it had not started construction of a new well field, which it claims was part of the settlement.
‘Honorable companies should not require the Court’s intervention and additional public legal fees to hold them accountable to the environmental mess they created and the deal they struck, but apparently Wolverine does not care about that. It wants to stick the Township residents with the costs of dealing with its mess,’ David Van Essen, the township attorney, said in a news release.
In March, a federal judge approved a $54 million settlement to be split among $1,195 residents in northern Kent County whose water was contaminated by PFAS and Wolverine Worldwide and 3M.”