Tannery sludge from the Wolverine Worldwide facility in Rockford was spread on farms as crop fertilizer in what are now two residential neighborhoods in Algoma Township. Tannery sludge was spread on the Donald Hardy farm in the Jewell area. Wellington Ridge and 43 North neighborhoods in Wolven were formerly sludge-applied farmland.
Additionally, according to the MDEQ, “historical aerial photographs from 1965 show a gravel pit and interviews with a resident formerly from the area suggested the gravel pit may have been used as a disposal location for Wolverine waste. This former gravel pit, located south of Royal Hannah Drive in Algoma Township, is approximately 0.5 mile west of Wolven Avenue.”
A concerned citizens group brought the former disposal location to the DEQ’s attention on January 24, 2017. In response to a request from MDEQ, Wolverine sampled residential drinking water wells in the Wolven Avenue area in November 2017. Through December 6, 2017, the results for roughly 83 samples had been received, indicating combined concentrations of PFOS and PFOA ranging from nondetect to 9,800 parts per trillion.
Wolverine sampled residential wells, provided bottled water, removed barrels & subsurface waste, & started investigating the contamination. DEQ oversaw, investigated disposal locations, and participated in one town hall and three neighborhood meetings.
- Algoma Source Area Investigation Work Plan
- DEQ Investigation — House Street Disposal Area, Belmont, MI, Kent County