07/16/2020- Following three directives by the Wisconsin DNR to JCI/Tyco to conduct additional potable well sampling in the expanded site investigation area south of the company’s Fire Technology Center in Marinette, the DNR is now taking matters into their own hands. During a PFAS Listening Session Wednesday, DNR reps explained that while JCI/Tyco’s Southern Area report claimed the expanded area is disconnected from PFAS discharged from the FTC, the DNR does not concur with these findings- citing data gaps and the need for additional investigation. Bridget Kelly with the Wisconsin DNR says the company effectively said “no” to a request to test more private wells in the area, which means the DNR will move ahead with hiring their own contractor to do the work and then seek cost recovery from JCI/Tyco.
One of the newer developments in the local PFAS contamination issue is the confirmation of PFAS in private wells near agricultural fields where contaminated biosolids have been spread throughout Marinette County. Many of the wells that showed PFOA or PFOS levels above the 20 parts per trillion threshold recommended by the Wisconsin DHS are clustered near Lake Noquebay and Kelly says more work is forthcoming to determine why the concentration is happening here and what the larger impact to human and environmental health could be.
In addition to potable well sampling, efforts are also underway to analyze PFAS contamination in our region through an air deposition study and deer tissue testing. The next DNR listening session is scheduled for September 16th, though the agency also provides updates on the investigation and remediation work directly through their website.