Feb 08, 2018

Lead Contamination Revealed Near Wolverine Worldwide Dump Sites

Well owners in the area have already been struggling with PFAS contamination and now face the additional threat of lead

New lead contamination found near Wolverine Worldwide

Recent tests have revealed high levels of lead in several wells in Plainfield Township, Mich., near the former headquarters of Wolverine Worldwide. For well owners in the township, the newly found lead contamination is in addition to previously discovered PFAS contamination in 30 wells.

While currently only two homes have recorded high lead levels, more testing is underway. According to MLive, one well tested at 73 ppb and the other at 22.5 ppb, both exceeding the federal threshold of 15 ppb. The well owners insist there are no lead fixtures or plumbing in their homes and point to Wolverine Worldwide as the likely culprit. Wolverine Worldwide, however, insists that the blame for the lead contamination does not rest on their shoulders and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) agreed with the company.

“MDEQ proactively tested 35 homes for 10 metals and volatile organic compounds last summer (2017) and found that none of the results exceeded residential cleanup criteria,” said the MDEQ. Wolverine stated the highest lead sample found was at 1.8 ppb.

On the other hand, Varnum Law, the firm representing the two lead contaminated homes and other PFAS contaminated homes, said that they conducted their own tests on the dump sites and found extremely high levels of mercury, arsenic, chromium, lead and zinc in the fall of 2017. 

With conflicting evidence, more testing is needed to know for sure the cause of the lead contamination and if Wolverine Worldwide is the responsible party.