Marinette, Wisconsin Fire Technology Center:
October 15, 2018 Update
Latest Updates on the Investigation
We recently submitted a Site Investigation Report to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR). It has been reviewed by DNR staff and published on the DNR web site.
The Site Investigation Report serves the primary purpose of updating the DNR and all interested parties on initial results from the “Revised Site Investigation Work Plan” which was approved by the DNR on April 27, 2018. The Site Investigation Report includes results from boring samples, aquifer profiling, soil samples and soil logging, groundwater monitoring and surface water testing. The report includes data from the investigation activities through August 29, 2018. Additional activities identified in the Work Plan are continuing and those activities and data will be included in a future report. All investigation activities were conducted under the oversight and approval of the DNR.
As a result of this additional activity, PFAS has been detected in groundwater at levels above the HAL in two of the vertical aquifer profile samples further south in the study area. We will be conducting further investigations of these detections in groundwater. This groundwater sampling will help to better evaluate the data set in the south, as these results are not consistent with other data. We are working closely with the DNR on the additional investigations and to better understand this data. Additionally, we will begin testing private drinking water wells near Rader Road.
Also included in the Site Investigation Report is the summary of the data collected on the water samples from ditches in the general area. As a result of those studies, we identified two ditches where we will employ interim measures to address the PFAS detected. We focused our efforts to determine the pathways of these compounds entering the ditches and to identify the most appropriate interim measures to address PFAS in the ditches. One of the ditches flows through our property at the Fire Technology Center (Ditch A) and the other ditch crosses West Bay Shore Street and runs through Runnoe Park (Ditch B). We have been working closely with the DNR and the County to obtain approval for work plans, locations and necessary permits to remove the compounds from the water that is flowing through the ditches. All work is being conducted under the oversight and approval of the DNR.
We want to emphasize that these ditches do not carry drinking water. They carry surface water, and the US-EPA health advisories are based on exposure from long term drinking water ingestion, not from dermal (skin) contact with the water.
We will keep the community, as well as interested parties, informed of our progress in finalizing these interim action steps.
July 17, 2018
As part of the work plan that we submitted to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in March 2018, we have been conducting additional investigations of groundwater, soil, ditches and surface water in and around the Fire Technology Center (FTC) in Marinette and the Town of Peshtigo. In following that plan, we collected surface water samples in two ditches that run through and near the FTC and lead to Green Bay.
The laboratory results for those samples from the ditches have been received, and PFAS has been detected in the samples.
Due to the locations of the ditches and the proximity to Green Bay, we’re focusing our efforts to determine the pathways of these compounds entering the ditches and to identify potential interim measures to address PFAS in the ditches. We are working closely with DNR to obtain approval for work plans and the necessary permits to remove the compounds from the water that are flowing through the ditches. We view this as a current priority.
We have no information that indicates water in the ditches is used for drinking water purposes.
Notwithstanding, we take these results seriously. We are moving immediately to consult with DNR on the interim action steps that we can take. We are also moving quickly to collect samples from some other ditches in the City of Marinette and Town of Peshtigo that have not been sampled to date. We will continue to be transparent and keep the community, as well all interested parties, informed of our progress in finalizing these interim action steps.
July 5, 2018
Tyco has been looking into some concerns we’ve heard from a few of the residents in the area: specifically, some have spoken to us about inconveniences of using bottled water for extended periods of time. We are therefore reaching out to residents or business owners whose drinking water wells had detections of PFAS, but the levels were below the Health Advisory Level (HAL) established by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for PFOA and/or PFOS. We have decided to offer each of these homes or businesses the option to switch off of bottled water and install a “Point of Entry Treatment” (POET) water system. POET systems can effectively treat PFOA and/or PFOS in drinking water. Tyco is committed to pay for the installation, maintenance and regular monitoring of these systems.
We do want to reiterate that the sampling results indicated a detection of PFOA and/or PFOS that is below the HAL that has been set by the EPA. Nevertheless, as an accommodation to our neighbors and to provide a level of convenience, Tyco is offering these properties the choice to replace their bottled water service with the installation of a POET.
June 26, 2018
June 7, 2018
- We had suspended all outdoor activities using foam at the Fire Technology Center (FTC) during the winter months of 2017-2018. We are conducting a review of FTC practices and procedures to determine if any additional improvements are necessary prior to resuming outdoor activities involving foam.
May 1, 2018
- In coordination with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) we conducted testing of groundwater for PFAS compounds at our Stanton Street facility in Marinette. We worked with our environmental consultant, Arcadis, to collect the groundwater samples for analysis.
- We now have preliminary results indicating the presence of PFAS in groundwater samples collected at the Stanton Street facility. We are completing the quality assurance review of the laboratory results to validate the accuracy of the data, and are working cooperatively with the appropriate governmental agencies to determine the necessary follow-up investigations.
- It is very important to note that we have not identified any drinking water wells in the vicinity of the facility.
- We also currently have certain controls and measures in place to manage and treat groundwater at the facility.
- We will develop a work plan to identify further investigations that might be required, and we will share the work plan with the public once it is approved by oversight regulatory agencies.
- We will also assess the current groundwater controls and measures to determine if additional measures may be necessary.
- We will approach this issue in the same manner in which we have approached PFAS issues at our Fire Training Center in Marinette. We will continue to work cooperatively with the EPA, WDNR, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, and officials in the City of Marinette on any plans going forward.
November 2017 – March, 2018
- In early March 2018, Tyco submitted a Site Investigation Work Plan to the DNR which provided detailed plans for additional investigation of groundwater, soil, ditches and surface water. Tyco also submitted a Long-Term Potable Well Sampling Plan with a schedule for additional sampling of drinking water wells. The DNR provided comments on those plans, and updated documents were prepared in response to those comments. The DNR recently approved the updated documents. These documents, along with additional information regarding use of PFAS at the Site, have been posted on the DNR BRRTS on the Web website which can be found at http://dnr.wi.gov/botw under activity number 0238580694.
- Tyco is also evaluating long-term options to address PFOA and PFOS in drinking water wells.
- Tyco has started preparations for implementing the activities under the Site Investigation Work Plan, and will conduct the next phase of investigation and monitoring work beginning in Spring 2018. As new data is obtained, it will be used to determine if additional investigation work is necessary. This is consistent with the data-driven, step-wise approach Tyco has been taking to develop the most appropriate measures to address PFAS in the environment.
- As part of the activities under the Long-Term Potable Well Sampling Plan, drinking water wells where PFOA and/or PFOS were detected will be sampled quarterly to understand seasonal variations in groundwater. In late March 2018, Tyco again contacted all of the drinking water well owners/users within the sampling area to collect additional Spring 2018 samples from each well and that sampling is underway.
- For wells that were sampled previously, and where PFOA and PFOS were not detected, an additional sample will be collected in Spring 2018 to confirm the absence of PFOA and PFOS. The potential need for additional sampling of drinking water wells with non-detect results will be assessed after review of the Spring 2018 sampling results.
- In November 2017, Tyco Fire Products (Tyco) launched a detailed investigation of the nature and extent of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in portions of the Town of Peshtigo and City of Marinette near the Ansul Fire Technology Center (FTC), which is located at 2700 Industrial Parkway South in Marinette, Wisconsin.
- The investigation is being conducted under the oversight of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS). The United States EPA has issued a Health Advisory Level (HAL) for drinking water for two specific PFAS – perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS): that advisory level is 70 parts per trillion (ppt) (both compounds combined) in drinking water. This HAL was used as the criterion for identifying locations to be tested.
- Two drill rigs were mobilized to collect off-site groundwater samples, and a mobile laboratory was then used to analyze the samples that were collected in an expedited manner. A total of 24 subsurface borings were drilled, with 98 groundwater samples collected at various depths within those borings. Data that was collected indicated combined PFOA and PFOS concentrations ranging from non-detect to 1,653 ppt.
- Four samples of standing water within ditches on the FTC site were also collected and the combined PFOA and PFOS concentrations detected ranged from 417 to 4,620 ppt.
- While the groundwater borings were still being completed, testing began on select private wells within the investigation area. The initial sampling area (Phase I) was defined based on the first sets of groundwater investigation results. A public meeting in the Town of Peshtigo was held with the DNR and DHS to inform the residents of the investigation area about the work underway, and the plan to study private drinking water wells. Bottled water was offered to all users of drinking water wells within the designated private well sampling area, and a toll-free call number was established so that residents had easy access to schedule sampling and obtain information.
- As additional investigation data was obtained, the study area was expanded (Phase II). Since December 2017, 137 drinking water wells have been sampled. All wells where PFOA and PFOS were detected have been sampled a second time to verify the initial results. The combined PFOA and PFOS results were as follows:
- Detections greater than the HAL (70 ppt): 11 wells (detections ranged from 73 to 1,900 ppt)
- Detections found, but less than the HAL: 29 wells (detections ranged from 3.9 to 49 ppt)
- Not detected: 97 wells
- Point of Entry Treatment (POET) systems were offered to owners/users of drinking water wells where PFOA and PFOS concentrations were greater than the HAL. At this point, six POET systems have been installed, and two more are scheduled for installation.
- On January 23, 2018 Tyco held a second public meeting in the Town of Peshtigo with DNR and DHS to present all of the data to residents in the study area, answer questions, and discuss plans for additional studies in the area.
- As new data comes in and the investigation continues, we will provide regular updates on this site.