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Groundwater Testing in Marinette and Peshtigo

Marinette, Wisconsin Fire Technology Center:
Latest Updates on the Investigation

May 16, 2019 Update

Tyco has been looking at the different options to provide for a long-term sustainable supply of clean drinking water. We have examined each thoroughly and it was critical that we chose a solution that would be viable for all Town of Peshtigo residents in the well sampling area. Find out more about this process by reading a recent letter we sent to residents.

April 29, 2019

On Thursday evening April 25, we inadvertently overfilled a fire-fighting foam tank on our Stanton Street facility, releasing approximately 25 gallons of foam outside our containment system. Of that, we estimate that less than half reached a stormwater basin that leads to the sewer and the Menominee River. We immediately plugged the stormwater basin and did not observe any foam in the river. We also pumped and cleaned material and structures outside our containment system and we will be performing additional restoration activities as necessary. The tank overflow was stopped right away and no further foam has been released. We immediately notified the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and are working with them to complete any necessary formal reporting and further cleanup and containment measures.

March 19, 2019

Tyco hosted the community at an open house on March 13, 2019 to announce that we will fund the extension of municipal water lines to affected residents, to update our neighbors on our current and planned activities, and to address the community’s concerns and questions. We were joined by representatives from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, and staff members from the offices of U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, U.S. Representative Mike Gallagher, State Representative John Nygren, and State Senator Dave Hanson. We posted the presentation slides from the open house in the Communications link on this site. As always, we remain available to answer your questions and concerns by phone or email listed under the Contact Us link.

March 1, 2019

An open house meeting to update the community will take place on Wednesday, March 13, 2019 from 6:00 – 9:00 pm at Embers 1871, W3529 County B Road, Peshtigo. Representatives from Tyco, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, will update the community members in the study area on recent testing results, describe the current activities, and outline next steps related to Tyco’s ongoing environmental investigation in the area.

Doors will open at 6:00 pm for the open house and the project update presentation will begin at 6:30. The meeting is also being held to provide answers to questions from the community, and a question and answer period will immediately follow the presentation.

February 5, 2019

We have undertaken significant efforts to implement measures with respect to PFAS found in ground and drinking water that may have originated from our facility in Marinette.

Here is some of what we have done to date:

With respect to our 2013 testing that has been reported: in 2013 we conducted testing at our Marinette Fire Technology Center (FTC) that showed readings of PFAS. These tests had nothing to do with drinking water. The readings were in the center of our 380-acre facility, and we had no reason at that time to believe that these compounds had migrated outside of our property or that there was any linkage to the area’s drinking water. In fact, the vast majority of drinking water in Marinette is supplied via municipal water systems. It was only when we drilled new borings near the perimeter of our FTC that we saw possible migration of the compounds away from our testing field, and upon learning this information, we worked with the Wisconsin DNR to create and implement a plan to test outside of the facility.

We continue to work with DNR and the City of Marinette to find a permanent drinking water solution for impacted homes in the Peshtigo area. We remain committed to this community and its safe drinking water.

December 20, 2018

We have made a great deal of progress and have several updates to provide the community and other interested stakeholders.

First, we are planning to start operation of the equipment which we have called the “interim measure” in Ditch A as soon as the week of December 17th. This equipment is a granular activated carbon treatment system, and it serves to remove PFOA and PFOS from the surface water running through the ditch. As previously reported, Ditch A runs through the Tyco Fire Technology Center, and then follows a southeasterly path toward the township of Peshtigo. We have submitted and have now received all required permits and approvals for the treatment system and installation of the system is complete.

Second, we have confirmed the location of the treatment system which will address PFOA and PFOS in Ditch B, which eventually crosses West Bay Shore Street and runs through Runnoe Park. The system will be on the campus of Northland Lutheran. The approvals and permitting process for this system are moving forward, and we anticipate installation and start-up in approximately 90 days. We have been working closely with the City of Marinette to obtain approvals from the Planning Commission and the Common Council and also are working closely with the WDNR and the Army Corp of Engineers on agency-required permitting.

Third, the Fall 2018 sampling event is coming to a close. We re-tested 82 private drinking water wells, and we also tested 9 wells for the first time. With this resampling, the overall summary of private well results received to date are as follows:

Fourth, we conducted additional private drinking water well testing near Rader Road and Shore Drive and the results were consistent with other results in the surrounding area (5 of 6 results Non-Detect, 6th result presently undergoing final quality control steps.). We conducted additional Vertical Aquifer Profile (VAP) testing (5 VAP borings, 16 intervals sampled) near Heath Lane and Shore Drive and the results were either Non-Detect or indicated low levels (well below the EPA Health Advisory Level for drinking water) for PFOA/PFOS.

Fifth, we continue to study long term drinking water replacement options with our primary focus being municipal water. We will report additional updates throughout 2019.

We will continue to keep the community, as well as other interested parties, informed of our progress. We are preparing for another Public Informational Meeting in the near future. In the meantime, please contact us with any questions at 1-800-314-1381.

October 15, 2018

We recently submitted a Site Investigation Report to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR). It has been reviewed by DNR staff and published on the DNR web site.

The Site Investigation Report serves the primary purpose of updating the DNR and all interested parties on initial results from the “Revised Site Investigation Work Plan” which was approved by the DNR on April 27, 2018. The Site Investigation Report includes results from boring samples, aquifer profiling, soil samples and soil logging, groundwater monitoring and surface water testing. The report includes data from the investigation activities through August 29, 2018. Additional activities identified in the Work Plan are continuing and those activities and data will be included in a future report. All investigation activities were conducted under the oversight and approval of the DNR.

As a result of this additional activity, PFAS has been detected in groundwater at levels above the HAL in two of the vertical aquifer profile samples further south in the study area. We will be conducting further investigations of these detections in groundwater. This groundwater sampling will help to better evaluate the data set in the south, as these results are not consistent with other data. We are working closely with the DNR on the additional investigations and to better understand this data. Additionally, we will begin testing private drinking water wells near Rader Road.

Also included in the Site Investigation Report is the summary of the data collected on the water samples from ditches in the general area. As a result of those studies, we identified two ditches where we will employ interim measures to address the PFAS detected. We focused our efforts to determine the pathways of these compounds entering the ditches and to identify the most appropriate interim measures to address PFAS in the ditches. One of the ditches flows through our property at the Fire Technology Center (Ditch A) and the other ditch crosses West Bay Shore Street and runs through Runnoe Park (Ditch B). We have been working closely with the DNR and the County to obtain approval for work plans, locations and necessary permits to remove the compounds from the water that is flowing through the ditches. All work is being conducted under the oversight and approval of the DNR.

We want to emphasize that these ditches do not carry drinking water. They carry surface water, and the US-EPA health advisories are based on exposure from long term drinking water ingestion, not from dermal (skin) contact with the water.

We will keep the community, as well as interested parties, informed of our progress in finalizing these interim action steps.

July 17, 2018

As part of the work plan that we submitted to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in March 2018, we have been conducting additional investigations of groundwater, soil, ditches and surface water in and around the Fire Technology Center (FTC) in Marinette and the Town of Peshtigo. In following that plan, we collected surface water samples in two ditches that run through and near the FTC and lead to Green Bay.

The laboratory results for those samples from the ditches have been received, and PFAS has been detected in the samples.

Due to the locations of the ditches and the proximity to Green Bay, we’re focusing our efforts to determine the pathways of these compounds entering the ditches and to identify potential interim measures to address PFAS in the ditches. We are working closely with DNR to obtain approval for work plans and the necessary permits to remove the compounds from the water that are flowing through the ditches. We view this as a current priority.

We have no information that indicates water in the ditches is used for drinking water purposes.

Notwithstanding, we take these results seriously. We are moving immediately to consult with DNR on the interim action steps that we can take. We are also moving quickly to collect samples from some other ditches in the City of Marinette and Town of Peshtigo that have not been sampled to date. We will continue to be transparent and keep the community, as well all interested parties, informed of our progress in finalizing these interim action steps.

July 5, 2018

Tyco has been looking into some concerns we’ve heard from a few of the residents in the area: specifically, some have spoken to us about inconveniences of using bottled water for extended periods of time. We are therefore reaching out to residents or business owners whose drinking water wells had detections of PFAS, but the levels were below the Health Advisory Level (HAL) established by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for PFOA and/or PFOS. We have decided to offer each of these homes or businesses the option to switch off of bottled water and install a “Point of Entry Treatment” (POET) water system. POET systems can effectively treat PFOA and/or PFOS in drinking water. Tyco is committed to pay for the installation, maintenance and regular monitoring of these systems.

We do want to reiterate that the sampling results indicated a detection of PFOA and/or PFOS that is below the HAL that has been set by the EPA. Nevertheless, as an accommodation to our neighbors and to provide a level of convenience, Tyco is offering these properties the choice to replace their bottled water service with the installation of a POET.

June 26, 2018 June 7, 2018 May 1, 2018 November 2017 – March, 2018

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