Clarifying WDNR’s Recent Inaccurate Statements

On June 12, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) sent a public statement about Tyco’s remediation efforts to individuals who have signed up for their listserv. The WDNR’s statement contained a number of inaccuracies. We contacted the agency privately, requesting they correct the record and asked them to issue an amended statement to those individuals who received the initial incorrect version, or to distribute Tyco’s response statement via their listserv. They refused to do so.

This posting describes the inaccuracies the WDNR is willing to leave on the record. We are, quite frankly, astonished that a public agency is taking the position that it has no responsibility to provide accurate information to the public.

  • WDNR: Tyco has not evaluated how PFAS could have been discharged into the air and, thereby, impacting soil and groundwater.
    • Fact: Tyco submitted a 37-page air discharge report evaluating potential air pollution discharge four days before the WDNR sent out the listserv post.
  • WDNR: Arcadis—Tyco’s expert consultant—stated at a conference that “Atmospheric deposition of PFAS can occur tens of miles away from the release location.”
    • Fact: First, that statement was made by a different environmental consultant, not by Arcadis. Second, that statement was made in the context of a site that has a factory with “stack emissions” that emit PFAS high up into the atmosphere. Tyco’s Fire Technology Center (FTC) has no such building.
  • WDNR: Tyco’s site is like sites with “stack emissions” in North Carolina or North Bennington, Vermont.
    • Fact: It is strikingly misleading to compare the FTC to PFAS factories in North Carolina or Vermont because Tyco does not manufacture raw PFAS chemicals and has no such stack emissions at Marinette.

This is the second time in recent weeks that the WDNR has made false and misleading statements about Tyco’s submissions. Last month, we asked the WDNR to retract its April 23 letter of non-compliance to the company regarding the levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in sampled water at Ditch A. There, too, the agency ignored and misrepresented materials the Tyco had previously provided. The WDNR has yet to respond to multiple requests for a retraction. This is not the way to make good public policy.

Tyco and Arcadis have been working for years to gather, collate, analyze and report on millions of dollars’ worth of testing and data. We are focused on providing a clean, sustainable drinking water supply to the residents in the Town of Peshtigo, as well as executing on a long-term remediation strategy for the FTC.