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EPA in Michigan

Wolverine World Wide Tannery

Site Update - Jan. 2018

EPA issued an administrative order to Wolverine World Wide Inc. to conduct further assessment and potential cleanup work at its former tannery and at the House Street landfill in Rockford, Mich. The order requires additional investigation and characterization of soil, groundwater and river sediment contaminated with hazardous substances including arsenic, chromium, mercury and ammonia. This is EPA’s most recent activity in its ongoing response to Wolverine contamination issues.

EPA is working with the state of Michigan on a coordinated enforcement approach at the Wolverine sites in and around Rockford that are contaminated with PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) and hazardous constituents. Also today, Michigan issued an order to Wolverine to address drinking water contamination from its operations.

Last month, EPA staff assisted Michigan’s response efforts by sampling for PFAS in surface water from the Rogue River and Rum Creek, groundwater from two Wolverine industrial properties and drinking water at affected residences. EPA will notify residents of their individual sampling results as soon as they are available.

Wolverine manufactures several footwear brands and historically treated its products with PFAS compounds. The tanning process also used chrome and other hazardous substances. Contamination is believed to be from the company’s former tannery, shoe factory manufacturing operations and related waste disposal activities.

For more information:

  • Concerned residents can contact the State of Michigan Environmental Assistance Center at 800-662-9278 or deq-assist@michigan.gov.
  • For questions about exposure to PFAS in drinking water, please contact the MDHHS Toxicology Hotline at 800-648-6942.
  • For information from the Kent County Department of Health about health effects of PFAS, please call 616-632-7100 or email KCPFAS@kentcountymi.gov


Unilateral Administrative Order for Removal Actions for Wolverine World Wide

Cover Letter Re: Wolverine Worldwide Tannery and House Street Disposal Site Unilateral Administrative Order under CERCLA Section 106

Enforcement Action Memorandum - Wolverine Worldwide Tannery and House Street Disposal Site