MARINETTE — The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources reported new information into the investigations still progressing in the Town of Peshtigo, Marinette and at other locations, regarding the PFAS plume of contamination that originated at the Tyco Fire Technology Center (FTC).

Based on homeowner sampling data voluntarily reported to the WDNR by 14 homeowners in the last two weeks, the agency is requesting that Johnson Control Inc. and its subsidiary Tyco Fire Products LP expand their groundwater study area. 

WDNR Remediation & Redevelopment Program Director Christine Haag explained that the WDNR will request JCI/Tyco contact homeowners with the expanded area to collect well samples for PFAS level testing. 

She singled out two wells that lie south of Marinette and the FTC, outside boundaries of the current PFAS plume study. Those wells returned positive hits for PFAS levels over 20 ppt combined of PFOS and PFOA. 

She said DNR contacted (JCI) as soon as it became aware of the situation and asked the company to conduct additional sampling of those wells and provide those homeowners bottled water until results were known. 

“(JCI) declined … and so the DNR took that step and hired a contractor to do (the work),” Haag said. “I would imagine that once we make this request of JCI to expand (the study) area and contact (additional homeowners), if JCI is unwilling to do that, then the Department of Natural Resources will be evaluating next steps; and I think we will be taking action to take care of people.”  

In a written statement, JCI/Tyco detailed their reasoning behind refusal to supply interim measures and conduct well resampling.  

“We have previously conducted numerous tests of the groundwater running between the property on County Road B and Tyco’s Fire Technology Center (FTC). These tests have demonstrated that any PFAS at this location is not associated with the FTC.  In addition, the chemical characteristics reported in the laboratory results that this homeowner obtained is different from what is in the groundwater associated with the FTC … It is critical that the DNR now takes the necessary steps to identify all other sources of PFAS in the community to ensure that they are stopped.”