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EPA joins state of Michigan in old tannery waste disposal investigation

Wolverine Shoes (WOOD-TV)
Wolverine Shoes (WOOD-TV)

ALGOMA TOWNSHIP, Mich. – The U.S. Environmental Protection agency is working with the state of Michigan in an investigation into old tannery waste disposal.

WOOD-TV reports that two teams of EPA scientists starting testing wells Wednesday in western Michigan.

Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality already has said it's investigating 75 sites for toxic industrial chemicals that were used by Wolverine World Wide to waterproof shoes.

Scientists have said the toxins are perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS. The class of chemicals has been tied to cancer, thyroid problems and other diseases.

Wolverine has distributed bottled water to residents as it conducts tests.

WOOD-TV reports Wednesday that one well in Algoma Township had already tested five times over the EPA's advisory level for drinking water of 70 parts per trillion for PFAS.