Erin Brockovich to visit southwest Michigan to discuss water contamination


Environmental activist Erin Brockovich will visit southwest Michigan on Saturday to host a community meeting about the PFAS water contamination that is affecting Kent County.

A class action lawsuit was filed Dec. 1 against Wolverine Worldwide and 3M for dumping toxic waste and polluting the groundwater in Belmont, Rockford, Plainfield and other areas of Kent County. The lawsuit seeks immediate blood testing, monitoring, and damages for residents who have been harmed by the pollution.

In the summer and fall, groundwater testing revealed that per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, man-made chemicals used to create Scotchgard and to tan leather, had contaminated drinking water supplies in several wells near a Wolverine World Wide plant. Many residents in the areas where the contamination was found were warned not to drink water from their wells for the foreseeable future.

Wolverine Worldwide began providing filtration services for some homes, and recently announced it will provide water filtration systems for 338 homes in Plainfield Township whose wells are being tested for the presence of the chemicals. The company said it will arrange and pay for the costs of filter equipment and customized installation. All homes currently part of the study area established by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, as well as homes in the expanded buffer zone are eligible to receive whole house water filtration systems.

For the past several months, Wolverine has been working with the MDEQ and the Kent County Health Department to develop and implement a water-testing program to understand the extent of PFAS, the chemical that is contaminating wells in the area.

Also at the community meeting Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017, will be attorneys from The Miller Law Firm, Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd, and Weitz & Luxenberg. The meeting will be at 2 p.m. at Comstock Park High School.

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