We have been conducting an environmental assessment of our facilities and surrounding areas in The City of Marinette and Town of Peshtigo, Wisconsin. We have identified that certain per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are present in groundwater beyond our property, and we’re working to fully characterize the current conditions both within our facility and beyond our property boundary.
PFAS are used in the manufacture of firefighting foams for special applications because they greatly increase the effectiveness of the foam in fighting hydrocarbon flammable liquid fires, such as locations that use and store quantities of petroleum products. In fact, the U.S. military’s stringent specifications have required military specification foam to be made with PFAS.
Two PFAS on which the EPA has focused are PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) and PFOS (perfluorooctanesulfonic acid). Both are types of synthetic chemical compounds that have been present in firefighting foam. However, both are also present in many existing consumer products. According to the EPA, PFOA and PFOS have been used to make carpets, clothing, fabrics for furniture, paper packaging for food and other materials (e.g., cookware) that are resistant to water, grease or stains.
Our raw materials suppliers, in consultation with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), have worked to greatly reduce chemical content that can result in the type of PFAS addressed by the EPA’s advisory notice.
PFOA and PFOS are being studied by the EPA and other environmental and health agencies and researchers. The EPA has not issued regulatory limits, however; while studies continue, the EPA has issued what’s known as a health advisory level (HAL) for PFOA and PFOS in drinking water.
Marinette’s public drinking water has been studied several times under EPA requirements, and as recently as November 2017 the results have been non-detect or below EPA guidelines.
The EPA advisories are based on exposure from drinking water and do not apply to non-potable water.
We continue to work cooperatively with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the Department of Health Services, and officials in both the City of Marinette and the Town of Peshtigo on any plans going forward.
To view data submitted to Wisconsin DNR, please visit their website at http://dnr.wi.gov/botw under activity number 0238580694.
For more information on the views of the EPA see: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-06/documents/drinkingwaterhealthadvisories_pfoa_pfos_updated_5.31.16.pdf
For more information please call Jim Cox, Senior Manager, Tyco at 715-735-7411 x73826 or email him at: James.Cox@jci.com
We remain committed to this community. We live and work here. We will continue investigating and, along with the DNR, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and other appropriate regulatory bodies, we will continue to develop and implement effective action plans to provide clean drinking water system solutions to the identified homes.