Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Press Release

Elevated PFAS Levels Found In Ditch Downstream Of JCI/Tyco

 

By - Aug 28th, 2020 04:45 pm

MADISON, Wis. – Today, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) received analytical sample results from surface water monitoring conducted in July by Johnson Controls, Inc. (JCI) and its subsidiary Tyco Fire Products, LP (Tyco) associated with the ongoing PFAS investigation at their Fire Technology Center in Marinette, Wisconsin.

The data submitted by JCI/Tyco includes results from surface water collected approximately 10 feet downstream of the Ditch A and B treatment systems (sample ID SW-40 and SW-39, respectively). Laboratory analytical results for Ditch B indicated PFAS concentrations of 1,000 ppt for PFOA and 73 ppt for PFOS, in addition to concentrations of other PFAS compounds.

Laboratory analytical results for Ditch A indicated concentrations of 6.9 ppt for PFOA and 6.2 for PFOS. The DNR’s complete case file for the JCI/Tyco Fire Technology Center is also available on the DNR’s BRRTS on the Web (BOTW) database.

DNR and JCI/Tyco have agreed to meet as necessary during the coming weeks to discuss JCI/Tyco’s plans to remedy the contamination in Ditch B. DNR anticipates more information on next steps will be available and provided during the DNR’s next JCI/Tyco listening session on Sept. 16, 2020.

PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are a group of human-made chemicals used for decades in numerous products, including non-stick cookware, fast food wrappers, stain-resistant sprays and certain types of firefighting foam. These contaminants have made their way into the environment in a variety of ways, including spills of PFAS-containing materials, discharges of PFAS-containing wastewater to treatment plants and certain types of firefighting foams.

PFAS contamination has been detected in the Marinette and Peshtigo area in soil, sediment, groundwater, surface water, private drinking water wells and biosolids. Under the oversight of the DNR, JCI and Tyco Fire Products have been identified as responsible parties and have been directed by the DNR to conduct investigations into areas impacted by PFAS contamination in the Marinette and Peshtigo area due to their companies’ operations. The DNR continues close coordination on these matters with JCI/Tyco and is monitoring their progress to investigate and address PFAS contamination in the Marinette area.

Because the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency does not have a federal drinking water standard for these contaminants, like other states, Wisconsin is working to address this critical issue. The rule-making process started with the state department of health services recommending a cumulative groundwater enforcement standard of 20 parts per trillion (ppt) for PFOA and PFOS. The recommended standards will be enforceable once the rules are finalized. More information on the status of this rules process is available on the DNR’s NR 140 Groundwater Quality Standards web page.

More information regarding PFAS contamination in the Marinette and Peshtigo area is available on the DNR’s Marinette and Peshtigo PFAS web page.

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