Upcoming Wolverine CAG Meeting on 5/20/21

Wolverine Community Advisory Group
Full CAG Meeting
Online Using Zoom

Thursday, May 20, 2021
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Join Zoom Meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81962706941

Phone-in Option:
(312) 626-6799
Code # 819 6270 6941

Draft Agenda (all times are approximate)

6:00 PM Welcome
Introductions
Agenda Review

6:30 PM Draft CAG Comments on the Tannery Interceptor System Response Plan
Presentation by CAG Technical Committee
CAG Discussion, refinement, and agreement

7:30 PM Public Comment

7:55 PM Wrap Up and Next Steps

8:00 PM Adjourn

CAG Mission:
1) ensure that the response activities at the Wolverine World Wide sites protect and sustainably restore the environment for human health, fish, wildlife, and recreation, through community participation; and
2) that important community concerns are articulated, understood, and considered during any related investigation and response action.
CAG Groundrules:
• work cooperatively with each other, supporting agencies, and other stakeholders,
• be respectful of all participants,
• approach all issues and viewpoints with an open mind,
• focus on what is important to the community as a whole and articulate community concerns in a way that all stakeholders can understand,
• seek common ground wherever possible, and present and respect minority opinions where they exist

Webinar Registration and Public Comment: EGLE Meeting about Tannery Response Plan

On February 19, 2021, GZA (the consultant hired by Wolverine Worldwide to complete the FS) submitted their Tannery Interceptor System Response Activity Plan. On Wednesday, May 5, 2021, EGLE is holding an online public meeting from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. to discuss the plan. 

Meeting Information:

Register to attend the May 5, 2021 (6:00 -7:30pm) public meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_nRFhbNyUTXyCLzSOVIiozQ 

Phone-in Option:

636-651-3142

Code 374288#

Public Comments:

Public comments will be accepted through May 22, 2021. Additional information about the public comment period can be found here. Written comments can be emailed to EGLE-RRD-Housestreet@michigan.gov, or mailed prior to May 22, 2021 to:

Karen Vorce

Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, Remediation and Redevelopment Division

350 Ottawa Avenue, NW, Unit 10

Grand Rapids, Michigan 49503-2341 

House Street Cleanup FS: Presentation by CAG Technical Committee

At the Full Wolverine Community Advisory Group Meeting on March 18th, the CAG Technical Committee presented their discussion of the House Street Feasibility Study Cleanup. This is a summary of that presentation. The original presentation slides can be found here.

The Feasibility Study (FS) evaluates different remedy options to both manage the solid wastes and PFAS leakage into the groundwater. 

Wolverine is proposing to use phytoremediation and a small cap (“phyto-cap”) to remedy the House Street Disposal Site. Phytoremediation is a process that uses various types of plants to remove, transfer, stabilize, and/or degrade contaminants in the soil and groundwater. The EPA states that phytoremediation is best suited for large areas of 0-3 feet contamination, or large volumes of water with low-level contamination. The main disadvantages of phytoremediation are the long timeline, the limitations on the depth of the contamination, and the possibility of contaminating plant material that animals can consume. Most pointedly, a study included in the FS dated May 29, 2018 shows that PFAS waste at House Street are buried 3-20 feet deep. Based on these criteria, phytoremediation is not appropriate for House Street because of its high levels of deep contamination in the soil and groundwater and high potential for wildlife exposure. 

The consultant hired by Wolverine Worldwide to complete the FS, GZA, makes numerous statements that phytoremediation will reduce and/or control infiltration. However, studies highlighted by this presentation demonstrate that this may not be appropriate for the House Street site. Given that the site is heavily wooded, there may be minimal difference between current infiltration in the existing forest versus tearing out live, mature trees and planting new ones. GZA’s literature citations used to support their claims have limited relevance to the use of phytoremediation at House Street, and the Technical Committee states that “remedial solutions with this timeline are unacceptable unless a pilot study or other relevant data are presented showing better performance.”

Because phyto-cap allows continued infiltration and leaching, other alternative options are described. A cap remedy option manages waste by covering the surface material with an impermeable barrier to limit leaching and infiltration to groundwater. Pump and treat remedies manage contamination at the source and reduce groundwater migration.

Thank you to Dr. Richard R. Rediske and the CAG Technical Committee for preparing this presentation. To read more about the study, additional site documents on House Street Site are available here. Feasibility Study comments were due April 17th. The CAG submitted formal comments to EGLE regarding the House Street Feasibility Study on April 16, 2021, which can be found here.

Belmont/Rockford Project Timeline 2018-2023+

The formation of the Wolverine Community Advisory Group (CAG) in the summer of 2019 stimulated notable accomplishments in the cleanup efforts of the contaminated sites in the Rockford, MI area. This timeline highlights some of those accomplishments through the combined efforts and oversight of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), including:

  • Installation of impermeable caps over the hazardous spill site on House Street – Feb. 2020
  • Restoration and replanting along the Rogue riverbank and White Pine Trail – Oct. 2020
  • Design of an interceptor system at the tannery site – Feb. 19, 2021
  • Feasibility study of potential remediation options for House Street site – Feb. 2021
  • MiPEHS (Michigan PFAS Exposure and Health Study) – began Dec. 2020 and continues through 2024

There is still a lot of work to be done, but it is important to acknowledge the value of the work that has already been completed. Concerned citizens certainly can make a difference.

WMEAC_CAGTimeline_V1_Apr21

Upcoming Wolverine CAG Meeting on 4/15/21

Wolverine Community Advisory Group
Full CAG Meeting
Online Using Zoom

Thursday, April 15, 2021
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Join Zoom Meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84111070662

Phone-in Option:
(312) 626-6799
Code 841 1107 0662#

Draft Agenda (all times are approximate)

6:00 PM Welcome
Introductions
Agenda Review

6:30 PM Draft CAG Comments on the House Street Cleanup FS
Presentation by CAG Technical Committee
CAG Discussion, refinement, and agreement

7:30 PM Public Comment

7:50 PM Upcoming Tannery Interceptor System Response Plan

7:55 PM Wrap Up and Next Steps

8:00 PM Adjourn

CAG Mission:
1) ensure that the response activities at the Wolverine World Wide sites protect and sustainably restore
the environment for human health, fish, wildlife, and recreation, through community participation; and
2) that important community concerns are articulated, understood, and considered during any related
investigation and response action.
CAG Groundrules:
• work cooperatively with each other, supporting agencies, and other stakeholders,
• be respectful of all participants,
• approach all issues and viewpoints with an open mind,
• focus on what is important to the community as a whole and articulate community concerns in a way
that all stakeholders can understand,
• seek common ground wherever possible, and present and respect minority opinions where they exist

3/18 Meeting Recording and EGLE Public Comment on House Street

If you missed last week’s public meeting on the House Street Dump Site Feasibility Study, you can view the recording here.
Public comments will be taken through April 17, 2021. These can be emailed to
EGLE-RRD-Housestreet@michigan.gov, or mailed prior to April 17, 2021 to:
Karen Vorce
Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy
Remediation and Redevelopment Division
350 Ottawa Avenue, NW, Unit 10
Grand Rapids, MI 49503-2341

Webinar Registration: Public meeting regarding WWW’s Feasibility Study for the former House Street Disposal Site

Use this link to register for a public meeting webinar hosted by The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE). They will be accepting public comments regarding Wolverine World Wide’s Feasibility Study for the former House Street Disposal Site located at 1855 House Street NE, Plainfield Township, Kent County, Michigan.

The description is copied below and can be found at https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_PEFCnFmMS7i3ZHtUPKhz5g:

Written comments are being accepted until April 17, 2021, on a Feasibility Study of potential remedial options for the House Street Disposal Site that Wolverine World Wide (Wolverine) is required to conduct as outlined in the February 19, 2020, Consent Decree between the State of Michigan, Algoma and Plainfield Townships, and Wolverine. The Consent Decree document is posted online and can be found at: www.michigan.gov/belmont.

An electronic copy of this Feasibility Study report can be found posted on the House Street Michigan PFAS Action Response Team (MPART) website at www.michigan.gov/belmont, under the heading “Recent Accomplishments”.

A paper copy of the report is also available for review at the City of Rockford, Algoma Township, and Plainfield Charter Township offices.

Written comments can be emailed to EGLE-RRD-Housestreet@michigan.gov, or mailed prior to April 17, 2021, to Karen Vorce, Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, Remediation and Redevelopment Division, 350 Ottawa Avenue, NW, Unit 10, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49503-2341.

Pre-registration is not required to attend the meeting. Individuals interested in participating can click on the registration link (https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_PEFCnFmMS7i3ZHtUPKhz5g) at the start of the event (6:00 p.m.).

Individuals needing language assistance or accommodations for effective participation for the online meeting should contact Karen Vorce (RRD Project Manager) at 616-439-8008, to request language, mobility, visual, hearing, translation, and/or other assistance.

Upcoming Wolverine CAG Meeting on 3/18/21

Wolverine Community Advisory Group
Full CAG Meeting
Online Using Zoom

Thursday, March 18, 2021
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Join Zoom Meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84865471303

Phone-in Option:
(312) 626-6799
Code 848 6547 1303#

Draft Agenda (all times are approximate)

6:00 PM Welcome
• Welcome new CAG Members
• Introductions
• Agenda Review

6:30 PM House Street Cleanup FS
• Presentation by CAG Technical Committee
• CAG Discussion

7:30 PM Public Comment

7:55 PM Wrap Up and Next Steps on FS

8:00 PM Adjourn

CAG Mission:
1) ensure that the response activities at the Wolverine World Wide sites protect and sustainably restore the environment for human health, fish, wildlife, and recreation, through community participation; and
2) that important community concerns are articulated, understood, and considered during any related investigation and response action.

CAG Groundrules:
• work cooperatively with each other, supporting agencies, and other stakeholders,
• be respectful of all participants,
• approach all issues and viewpoints with an open mind,
• focus on what is important to the community as a whole and articulate community concerns in a way
that all stakeholders can understand,
• seek common ground wherever possible, and present and respect minority opinions where they exist

State and Community to Review Wolverine Worldwide Feasibility Study for Clean-Up of the House Street Dump Site

The Wolverine CAG (Community Advisory Group) was formed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the summer of 2019 to act as a communication link between Wolverine Worldwide, the EPA, Michigan’s Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE), and the community. The CAG is made up of volunteer community members with backgrounds in chemistry, law, engineering, and other disciplines; municipal representatives; and individuals who have been directly impacted by the contamination. The CAG’s mission is to ensure that the response activities at the Wolverine Worldwide sites protect and sustainably restore the environment for human health, fish, wildlife, and recreation through community participation, and that important community concerns are understood and considered during any related investigation and response action.

On February 11th, an article was published in the Rockford Squire in which Wolverine Worldwide described their preferred option for long-term remediation of the House Street Dump site. The option presented would create a park, with trails and a parking lot that would be open to the public. The plan would rely on a process called phytoremediation where trees are used to draw up PFAS from the waste through the roots and store it.

Wolverine presented two options for the clean-up of the House Street dump site to the CAG on January 28th. We have begun reviewing this information in order to prepare a full response to the feasibility study. The complete feasibility study was submitted to EGLE on February 19th as required by the court settlement agreement, and it explains the remediation options in more detail. As soon as EGLE makes it available for public comment, the CAG will review it thoroughly and respond with any concerns, questions, and recommendations. EGLE will host an online review of the feasibility plan for public comment in late March, and the CAG will provide details about the public comment period as soon as that is available.

To stay on top of this and other related remediation work, visit our website @ www.wolverinecag.org and EGLE’s website at www.michigan.gov/pfasresponse. You may also join our monthly CAG meetings on the third Thursday of the month at 6:00 p.m. Currently, these meetings are virtual to comply with safety concerns related to COVID-19. Meeting information can also be found on our website, or you can email us @ info@wolverinecag.org