Statement from state Rep. Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids) on a lawsuit filed by the state against Wolverine World Wide over toxic waste left at a former tannery site:

Thursday, January 11, 2018

LANSING — The state of Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality filed a lawsuit against footwear manufacturer Wolverine World Wide Inc. yesterday over perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination left at a former Wolverine World Wide tannery site in Kent County that now threatens the health of families living nearby. In response to the lawsuit and to recent standards for PFAS levels in water established by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, state Rep. Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids) issued the following statement:

“The lawsuit the state has brought against Wolverine World Wide is a positive step and gives local families hope that the company will be held accountable for the consequences of dumping its toxic chemicals — but this is not enough. More must be done to keep these toxins out of drinking water. Seventy parts per trillion (ppt) is simply too high to protect our health. That’s why I’ve introduced legislation to place a stronger limit of 5 ppt on dangerous PFAS chemicals in drinking water. The sooner the Legislature acts to limit the presence of these toxins in our water, the sooner people will be protected."