Wolverine formalizes $69.5M settlement with state, townships

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Courtesy Plainfield Township

Wolverine Worldwide has formally signed the $69.5 million settlement agreement that will extend municipal water to the townships affected by PFAS contamination of groundwater.

The Rockford-based maker of apparel and footwear said Feb. 4 it entered into a consent decree with the state of Michigan, Plainfield Charter Township and Algoma Township, which formalizes the tentative agreement previously announced by the parties.

The consent decree includes several steps Wolverine is taking to ensure long-term water quality and continued environmental remediation in and around its hometown, including providing $69.5 million toward the extension of municipal water to more than 1,000 area properties, including all hookup and connection fees that homeowners typically pay on their own.

“We are pleased to reach a consent decree and move forward with our efforts on behalf of the community,” said Blake Krueger, chair and CEO, Wolverine. “We have said from the beginning we are committed to being part of comprehensive water quality solutions for our friends, families and neighbors, and this agreement provides the right framework for that to occur.”

Wolverine outlined a comprehensive action plan in December, building on its existing efforts in the area.

In addition to funding an extension of municipal water, the plan includes continued maintenance of the filters it has installed for certain homeowners and re-sampling certain residential wells for PFAS.

Under the consent decree, Wolverine also will continue environmental remediation efforts, including the cleanup and groundwater filtration system already underway at its former tannery site, a feasibility study at its House Street site, and investigations to further assess the presence of PFAS in groundwater.

Wolverine joined the other parties in providing a public comment period on the consent decree before it is submitted to U.S. District Judge Janet Neff for approval.

Comments can be submitted by email to AG-WolverineCD@michigan.gov or in person at a public forum hosted by the state of Michigan from 6:30-8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 10, at Rockford High School, 4100 Kroes St. NE in Rockford.

The consent decree is available at WeAreWolverine.com.

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