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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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DNR Listening Session Provides PFAS Updates

Issue Date: February 10, 2021

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) held their 12th Listening Session on Wednesday, Jan. 20 on the PFAS contamination in Marinette, Peshtigo and surrounding communities.

With the Pandemic, the sessions at this point are no longer held in person. Those wanting to attend had the option of signing in virtually via Zoom or could call in through a telephone.

Bridget Kelly, DNR Remediation and Redevelopment Program Coordinator Emerging Contaminants, hosted the meeting along with many other DNR staff members present to answer questions. Those not familiar with these informational sessions can find information on the DNR website of https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/Contaminants/Marinette.html and view previous zoom recordings of meeting 7 and 8. While there you can sign up to receive updates from the DNR and can also view FAQ's (Frequently Asked Questions). Other ways to contact the DNR is by phone at 888-626-3244 or you can Email them at DNRJCIPFAS@wisconsin.gov For updates and information from the Department of Health Services (DHS), you can log into https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/water/gws-cycle11.htm

The DNR sent out 576 mailers to those possibly affected by the PFAS for testing of their water and of those, 15 residents opted out, 353 opted in and 208 are still pending testing. There were 307 wells tested so far for PFAS, with 77 being non-detect 216 detected at less than the recommended standard and 14 wells meeting or exceeding the standard from 23 to 110 PPT (Parts Per Trillion).

Due to the Pandemic, sampling schedules had to be adjusted following the state health guidelines with no samples able to be collected where the only access was indoors, as well as some were seasonal properties that closed prior to the sampling event. A second mailing will be sent out to those that are pending with the intent of sampling starting up again in April or May.

DNR Project Manager Alyssa Sellwood discussed the Tyco/JCI (Johnson Control Inc) Groundwater Model report that was provided to the DNR by Tyco. The computer model is a complete model that uses real data and a lot of human interaction to work properly. It is a useful tool for future predictions and design of cleanup.

The Ditch B Treatment system being installed by Tyco is a detailed carbon treatment monitoring unit and is designed to treat up to 700 gallons of water per minute. The system is designed to extract and treat PFAS impacted groundwater.

Kelly mentioned the DNR is still welcoming information of foam sightings in waterways or in their basements. PFAS does not get into the body through skin or human contact and overall these pathways are low exposure. If there are any foam sightings the DNR encourages to do a google search on the PFAS in Marinette and Peshtigo website and click Health Tab for further information.

Christine Haag, Remediation and Redevelopment Director then spoke in reference to the Groundwater Treatment Model proposed by Tyco stating, "I want to let you know where the DNR stands with this. Tyco hopes this will help with the source of the contamination to remedy and remove contamination and prevent it from entering into the surface water. As of yet, the DNR has not received any particular document that shows the details and we will need to receive a document from Tyco. The DNR has not approved this model yet. This model is part of the solution but not the complete solution yet".

Katie Mcginty, VP & Chief Sustainability, Government and Regulatory Affairs Officer at Johnson Controls (JCI), guest speaker then spoke on behalf of Tyco about the extraction treatment system. What we are presenting is a wholesome plan for the DNR to review. McGinty said, "This is a path to a PFAS solution with an Integrated Water/Soil Source Control (IWSC) system with a plan to deliver clean groundwater and surface water along with healthy soils. This will be accomplished by capturing, treating and removing the highest concentration PFAS in the groundwater plume and excavating and managing soils".

McGinty continued, "To our neighbors dealing with this for three years and working with us and allowing access to your property to collect data points, this will help form the action we now will be taking. The actions will go to the heart of the matter and enable Tyco to pull out the PFAS from the ground water so we can offer clean, safe water, soil and drinking water. I give my gratitude and Tyco's gratitude for working with us for the last three years and working with you into the future. We own it, we are responsible for it and we will clean it up".

Scott Potter of Tyco then spoke of where the largest concentration of PFAS is. "The PFAS in the soils has flushed into the groundwater. with the highest concentration in the groundwater plume being between the FTC and Ditch B. Groundwater and the PFAS plume moves predominately to the East from the FTC. Soil samples taken from that area have flushed from the soils into the groundwater. Samples collected across the FTC site and PFAS has been detected in soils where testing was done, but the soil concentrations are less than the standards. Areas with more PFAS will be excavated and managed".

Potter continued, "Our objectives for a solution for clean soils is to excavate the PFAS from the area, remove the soils from the site that are above standards and manage the soils excavated from construction and remediation activities. Two documents will be developed, one for soil and one for groundwater to be submitted to the DNR for review. Our intent is to have the soil excavation plan submitted in mid March. The ground water will be at a similar pace but a little quicker with an objective to be submitted by February 26. Our goal is to have all permits in place so we can start construction as early as possible with a target date to be completed with restoration of any streets affected before winter and hopefully by Sept. 30 and be in full performance by 2022. Existing measures will remain in place with the Ditch B filtration water system still continuing to operate. Ditch A will continue to operate also. Our ultimate goal is to clean the ground water, surface water and provide healthy clean soils and water".


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