Biosolids work plan submitted to WDNR

Yesterday, we submitted a detailed work plan to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) to sample private drinking water within 1,200 feet of 61 fields.  DNR selected these fields and the testing area around them. These are fields where biosolids were applied by the City of Marinette, and in some cases, the City of Peshtigo. Tyco is conducting this work voluntarily and in cooperation with the WDNR.

During wastewater treatment, organic material – referred to as “biosolids” – is produced and consolidated. Because of its nutrient value, biosolids have long been applied to farm land as fertilizer because they have many advantages over inorganic fertilizers often used by farmers. Tyco had a permit through the City of Marinette – as did many other companies – to discharge to the municipal wastewater system from our Fire Technology Center (FTC) property. The City of Marinette had a permit – through WDNR – to utilize the biosolids for land spreading.

We voluntarily suspended wastewater discharges to the City of Marinette wastewater treatment plant from the FTC and since that time have been disposing of our of wastewater through a licensed third-party contractor. We have since begun the installation of a state-of-the-art wastewater treatment facility on our property.

Additionally, working with the City of Marinette, we devised a plan to remove, treat and dispose of all of their biosolids in a responsible and environmentally sound manner. Tyco voluntarily agreed to reimburse the City for this program, which cost more than $3 million.  We also sealed off the three sewer lines leading from our property to the City’s treatment plant and spent more than $1 million to ensure that PFAS were not infiltrating those lines from other sources.

There are two other sewer lines leading to the treatment plant that have tested positive for PFAS that have no connection to Tyco or its properties. The WDNR has not informed us, or the public, about any testing on those two sewer lines.

The owners of the wells that are part of the work plan submitted today to WDNR have been contacted and asked for permission to sample their drinking water wells for PFAS. The sampling is scheduled to be completed by the end of March.  We will provide individual results to landowners and WDNR soon after we receive them, and provide an overall report to WDNR in May.

You can find today’s submission to the WDNR here and a copy of Arcadis’s February 24, 2020 letter to residents here.