Brief

DNR monitoring cleanup of JCI/Tyco contaminated water spill

By: - July 28, 2020 9:14 pm
Glass of water being filled from a tap

Photo courtesy the Centers for Disease Control

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has announced that it’s monitoring the clean-up of an accidental release of contaminated ground water into storm drains, which flow back to the Menominee River. The contaminated water, which was mixed with river water, came from Johnson Controls/Tyco facility at Stanton Street, in Marinette.

The incident was first reported to DNR on July 26, just before 9 p.m., according to a DNR press release. Representatives from JCI/Tyco reported that a mixture of contaminated river water and groundwater had entered storm drains, which flow back to the Menominee River. The company has stated that the water is being recovered from the site, and placed into tanks. Other clean-up operations, including the use of pumps, are ongoing.

Groundwater at the Stanton Street facility is contaminated with PFAS (per- and polyfluroalkyl) and arsenic from prior discharges, according to the DNR. PFAS are part of a large group of man-made compounds used in products from fast food wrappers to teflon to fire-fighting foam.

Research is ongoing, though the compounds have been linked to numerous diseases in humans and animals including cancers. Marinette is one of the hardest hit areas of Wisconsin when it comes to PFAS contamination. Department staff are ensuring that proper steps are being taken by the companies to clean up the spill. More details will be released as they emerge.

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Isiah Holmes
Isiah Holmes

Isiah Holmes is a journalist and videographer, and a lifelong resident of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Holmes' video work dates back to his high school days at Wauwatosa East High, when he made a documentary about the local police department. Since then, his writing has been featured in Urban Milwaukee, Isthmus, Milwaukee Stories, Milwaukee Neighborhood News Services, Pontiac Tribune, the Progressive Magazine, Al Jazeera, and other outlets. He was also featured in the 2018 documentary The Chase Key, and was the recipient of the Sierra Club Great Waters Group 2021 Environmental Hero of the Year award. The Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council also awarded Holmes its 2021-2022 Media Openness Award for using the open records laws for investigative journalism. Holmes was also a finalist in the 2021 Milwaukee Press Club Excellence in Journalism Awards alongside the rest of the Wisconsin Examiner's staff. The Silver, or second place, award for Best Online Coverage of News was awarded to Holmes and his colleague Henry Redman for an investigative series into how police responded to the civil unrest and protests in Kenosha during 2020. Holmes was also awarded the Press Club's Silver (second-place) award for Public Service Journalism for articles focusing on police surveillance in Wisconsin.

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