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.