AG Josh Kaul announced a lawsuit alleging Johnson Controls and Tyco Fire Products failed to address PFAS contamination issues after testing firefighting foam.
The Dem AG during a Green Bay press conference yesterday said the companies violated state spills law by failing to alert the Department of Natural Resources of PFAS contamination at and around the Fire Technology Center in Marinette since about 1962. The suit seeks to force the companies to complete a full investigation, cleanup effort, pay fines and repay at least some of the investigation costs.
Kaul said the pollution affects groundwater, drinking water, surface water, the air and the soil, harming the environment, residents and the economy.
“I’m hopeful that others who are polluting and are violating the laws see this and they realize that the Department of Justice is very serious about ensuring that our laws are enforced,” he said.
Kaul added the companies have taken steps to resolve the issue such as conducting a partial investigation of the spill, working with residents and communicating with DOJ and the DNR. “But we have reached a point in this process right now that we believe the path forward is through litigation,” he said.
Tyco Director of Environmental Communications Kathleen Cantillon told WisPolitics.com in an email the company will “vigorously defend this lawsuit.”
Cantillon added Tyco stands behind its work to investigate and clean up the contamination but is still working on new ways to address the issue. The company expects to complete by summer a new groundwater treatment system and is working to remove contaminated soil from Marinette.
“We continue to build on the progress we have made to address these issues in our community, including offering bottled water and in-home filtration systems several years ago to all households in the Town of Peshtigo whose private wells were potentially impacted by PFAS from the FTC,” she said.
See the DOJ press release here.