Skip to main content

PFAS Contamination in the Marinette and Peshtigo Area

PFAS contamination has been detected in the Marinette and Peshtigo area in soil, sediment, groundwater, surface water, private drinking water wells and biosolids.

Subscribe to Marinette and Peshtigo area PFAS contamination updates.

Find a certified lab that can test drinking water for PFAS.

Search a database for sites with reported PFAS contamination.

FAQ for PFAS contamination in the Marinette and Peshtigo area.

Report a PFAS foam event suspected to be occurring in the Marinette and/or Peshtigo area.

Under the oversight of the DNR, Johnson Controls, Inc. - Tyco Fire Products (JCI/Tyco) began conducting a site investigation for PFAS contamination in Fall 2017. This investigation resulted in additional sites being identified where investigation work must be conducted. Additional parties responsible for PFAS contamination have also been identified. It is possible that more sites and responsible parties may be identified in the future necessitating additional investigation. This page will be updated as new information becomes available.

Public Meetings

The DNR has scheduled a series of meetings and listening sessions to ensure that the public receives timely information about PFAS contamination in the Marinette-Peshtigo area. Meeting details are shown in the first tab below on this page. Community members are encouraged to attend to ask questions and discuss concerns with the DNR.

The DNR may host a public meeting at some point in the future to discuss options for long term water supply with affected residents. The DNR is holding off on scheduling this meeting until JCI submits an analysis of options, so that when we meet we are able to provide clear and complete information to the public.

On This Page

Information can be found below for the following locations where PFAS investigations will be or are being conducted in the Marinette and Peshtigo area, including:

  • JCI/Tyco Stanton St. Campus – 1 Stanton Street, Marinette
  • JCI/Tyco Fire Technology Center (FTC) – 2700 Industrial Parkway, Marinette
  • Chem Design Products, Inc. – 2 Stanton Street, Marinette
  • Land-spreading fields associated with PFAS-contaminated biosolids from the Marinette Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP)

The map below identifies these and other locations.

Map showing locations where PFAS investigations will be or are being conducted in the Marinette and Peshtigo area.
Map showing locations where PFAS investigations will be or are being conducted in the Marinette and Peshtigo area.

View an enlarged version of the map.

Meetings

Upcoming Public Meetings

Questions about PFAS contamination in the Marinette-Peshtigo area may be submitted in advance of the listening sessions by phone (888-626-3244) or by email (DNRJCIPFAS@wisconsin.gov).

Public Meeting Date Time(s) Location Information
Listening Session 11 Wed., November 18, 2020 noon-2 p.m. and 6-7:30 p.m. Location TBD  
Listening Session 12 Wed., January 20, 2021 noon-2 p.m. and 6-7:30 p.m. Location TBD  
Listening Session 13 Wed., March 17, 2021 noon-2 p.m. and 6-7:30 p.m. Location TBD  

Previous Public Meetings

Public Meeting Date Time(s) Location Information
Public Meeting July 10, 2019 6-8 p.m. Community REC Center, 2501 Pierce Ave., Marinette Presentation
Listening Session 1 Sept. 18, 2019 6-7:30 p.m. Community REC Center, 2501 Pierce Ave., Marinette Agenda
Presentation
Listening Session 2 Oct. 16, 2019 6-7:30 p.m. Community REC Center, 2501 Pierce Ave., Marinette Agenda
Presentation
Listening Session 3 Nov. 2019 noon-1:30 p.m. and 6-7:30 p.m. Community REC Center, 2501 Pierce Ave., Marinette Agenda
Presentation
Listening Session 4 Dec. 18, 2019 Noon-2 p.m. and 6-7:30 p.m. Community REC Center, 2501 Pierce Ave., Marinette Agenda
Presentation
Listening Session 5 Jan. 15, 2020 Noon-2 p.m. and 6-7:30 p.m. Community REC Center, 2501 Pierce Ave., Marinette Agenda
Presentation
Listening Session 6 Feb.19, 2020 Noon-2 p.m. and 6-7:30 p.m. Community REC Center, 2501 Pierce Ave., Marinette Agenda
Presentation
Listening Session 7 (Remote) April 15, 2020 noon-2 p.m. and 6-7:30 p.m. Remote via web and phone Agenda
Presentation
Listening Session 8 (Remote) May 20, 2020 noon-2 p.m. and 6-7:30 p.m. Remote via web and phone Agenda
Presentation
Listening Session 9 (Remote) July 15, 2020 noon-2 p.m. and 6-7:30 p.m. Remote via web and phone Agenda
Presentation
Listening Session 10 (Remote) Sept. 16, 2020 noon-2 p.m. and 6-7:30 p.m. Remote via web and phone Agenda
Presentation

Actions

Upcoming Actions

The DNR is planning additional public meetings and listening sessions. Detailed information will be shared on this page in the Public Meetings tab when available.

The DNR has requested that JCI/Tyco take the following actions.

  • Conduct surface water and fish sampling.
  • Post signs near PFAS-impacted surface waters.
  • Expand its site investigation to include the fields where the city of Marinette biosolids were applied.

Summary of Past Actions

Date Action and Details
2020
Sept. 15, 2020 DNR and DHS issued a Do Not Eat Advisory for Liver of White-tailed Deer in the Marinette area. The advisory was based on the results of PFAS sampling conducted of deer tissue in the Marinette area. More details are available in the "Health" tab.
News release
Aug. 28, 2020 News release: Elevated PFAS Levels Found In Ditch Downstream Of JCI/Tyco
Aug. 12, 2020 DNR issued a letter to JCI/Tyco requesting that they modify sample results notification letters issued to private potable well owners following sampling events. The requested modifications follow protocols laid out in a memo from the Department of Health Services.
Aug. 6, 2020 News release: DNR Public Notices Wastewater Discharge Permit for JCI/Tyco Facility in Marinette
July 13, 2020 JCI/Tyco issued a letter declining to conduct additional potable well sampling in an area defined by DNR as the expanded site investigation area.
July 10, 2020 JCI/Tyco submitted a Foam Monitoring Immediate Actions Report, documenting foam observation and collection efforts.
July 10, 2020 JCI/Tyco submitted a draft Site Investigation Workplan for the collection of surface water samples downstream of Ditch A and Ditch B treatment systems.
July 7, 2020 DNR issued a letter to JCI/Tyco requesting a definitive response to sample potable wells in the expanded site investigation area; the letter was also a notice of intent for the DNR to incur expenses for potable well sampling efforts if JCI/Tyco declined to conduct this sampling as required by state law.
June 8, 2020 JCI/Tyco submitted a draft Aerial Deposition Evaluation report for the FTC site.
June 5, 2020 JCI/Tyco submitted a draft Interim Site Investigation for the FTC site.
June 5, 2020 JCI/Tyco submitted a draft conceptual site model (CSM) for the FTC site.
June 3, 2020 JCI/Tyco issued a response letter to DNR, commenting on immediate actions required to address foam on waterways in a letter issued by DNR to JCI/Tyco on May 27, 2020.
June 1, 2020 JCI/Tyco issued a response letter to DNR, commenting on actions required by DNR in a notice of noncompliance issued to JCI/Tyco on May 27, 2020.
May 27, 2020 DNR issued a letter addressing JCI/Tyco’s report for sampling conducted in the area identified by JCI/Tyco as the Southern Area. DNR concluded in their review of JCI/Tyco’s report that JCI/Tyco must conduct additional work to adequately determine the degree and extent of PFAS contamination from the Fire Technology Center.
May 27, 2020 DNR issued a notice of noncompliance to JCI/Tyco for failure to address site investigation requirements at the Fire Technology Center, including sampling potable wells in an expanded site investigation area.
May 27, 2020 DNR issued a letter directing JCI/Tyco to take immediate actions to address foam on surface waters in drainages and waterways in Marinette and Peshtigo.
April 14, 2020 News release: DNR Directs JCI/Tyco To Provide Emergency Drinking Water for Three Homeowners On Private Wells Near JCI/Tyco Biosolid Applied Fields Investigation Area After Sampling Results Show High Levels of PFAS Contamination
April 10, 2020 DNR received the JCI/Tyco site investigation workplan describing sampling plans for the private drinking water wells identified within 1,200 feet of the 61 fields where biosolids were landspread.
April 10, 2020 DNR received the JCI/Tyco site investigation report for the 'Southern Area Groundwater Evaluation' area (also known as the Heath Lane Area) associated with the Fire Technology Center. The report provides an evaluation of groundwater samples collected in the in 2019.
April 8, 2020 DNR approves JCI/Tyco fish sampling plan for private ponds associated with the Fire Technology Center in Marinette.
April 8, 2020 DNR directed JCI/Tyco to immediately provide bottled water for three homes near the biosolid fields where combined PFOA/PFOS results showed elevated levels above 20 ppt.
March 9, 2020 DNR in collaboration with USDA successfully collected deer tissue samples from the JCI/Tyco Fire Technology Center. Deer samples have been sent to the Wisconsin State Lab of Hygiene; sample results are anticipated in summer 2020, which may or may not result in consumption advisories or further collection and sampling.
March 2, 2020 JCI began collecting water samples for PFAS analysis from drinking water wells around the 61 fields where biosolids have been landspread.
Feb. 19, 2020 DNR issued a letter to JCI/Tyco for the Fire Technology Center requiring that the study area be expanded to include additional areas in the city of Marinette and the town of Peshtigo.
Map showing expanded study area
Feb. 18, 2020 DNR issued a response to JCI/Tyco for the site investigation associated with landspreading of PFAS contaminated biosolids from the city of Marinette Waste Water Treatment Plant. JCI/Tyco will focus attention during the remaining winter months on sampling private potable wells within a 1,200-ft buffer surrounding the 61 fields.
Feb. 5, 2020 DNR executed an access agreement with JCI/Tyco that will allow the USDA to cull deer from the JCI/Tyco Fire Technology Center property in order to evaluate potential PFAS contaminant levels in deer.
Feb. 4, 2020 DNR received a data report from JCI/Tyco for the Stanton St. facility. The report shows that there are PFAS in groundwater outside of the barrier wall located on the Stanton St. property.
Jan. 23, 2020 The DNR hosted a meeting with JCI/Tyco to discuss the status of all JCI/Tyco investigations for PFAS contamination.
Jan. 10, 2020 News release: DNR Providing Emergency Drinking Water to Homeowner with PFAS Contamination Near JCI Investigation Area
2019
Dec. 31, 2019 JCI/Tyco submitted an Operation and Maintenance report for treatment system located in Ditch A. The report was promised in July 2019 and contains PFAS sample data from ditch A from January to June 2019. The DNR is evaluating sample results showing increased PFAS levels at the ditch from January 2019 to June 2019.
Dec. 18, 2019 DNR sent a letter to JCI/Tyco responding to the October 2019 Draft Remedial Action Options Report for the Fire Technology Center (FTC)
Week of Dec. 9, 2019 DNR mailed an informational post card with details of the December 18th Listening Session to be attended by Attorney General Josh Kaul. Post cards went out to 11,500 households.
Week of Nov. 4, 2019 DNR mailed listening session informational postcard to 11,500 households
Oct. 30, 2019 DNR received results for foam and water samples collected in Marinette and Peshtigo area
Oct. 16, 2019 DNR issued Notice of Noncompliance (NON) for failure to begin investigation of biosolid-applied fields, including potable well sampling within 1200 feet of the fields.
Oct. 7, 2019 DNR shared water chemistry data for surface water bodies sampled around the state.
Sept. 11, 2019 DNR provided a letter to the mayors of the cities of Peshtigo and Marinette and the chairperson for the town of Peshtigo regarding upcoming public meetings and clarification on trust fund availability.
Sept. 6, 2019 Wisconsin Department of Health Services provided a letter to DNR describing health effects associated with exposure to PFAS via flood waters entering homes in areas where PFAS have been detected in groundwater.
Aug. 2019 DNR hired an environmental contractor to assist with sampling foam for PFAS
Summer 2019 DNR conducted water quality sampling of fish and surface water
July 10, 2019 DNR held a public meeting regarding past, current and upcoming actions on PFAS in the Marinette and Peshtigo area. The meeting presentation is available.
July 9, 2019 DNR sent a letter to JCI/Tyco responding to the May 2019 Remedial Action Options Report for the Fire Technology Center (FTC)
July 3, 2019 DNR sent a letter to JCI/Tyco requiring by September 3, 2019, the site investigation work plan for the fields on which Marinette biosolids were spread
July 3, 2019 DNR issued Responsible Party letter requiring investigation of biosolid-applied fields and potable well sampling.
July 2, 2019 DNR sent a letter to JCI/Tyco requesting disclosure of historic disposal locations and service providers of wastewater and solid waste generated by JCI/Tyco; requests field data of past PFAS sampling events
July 2, 2019 DNR issued a Responsible Party letter to Chem Design Products, Inc.
July 2, 2019 DNR issued a Potentially Responsible Party letter to JCI regarding a leased property on Woleske Road, Marinette
July 1, 2019 DNR sent a letter to JCI/Tyco requiring signage along ditches
June 5, 2019 DNR issued a notice to well drillers requesting they contact DNR prior to drilling new water supply wells in the affected area
May 30, 2019 DNR referred JCI/Tyco to the Wisconsin Department of Justice

Summary of Additional Actions

  • DNR reviewed and approved JCI/Tyco's plan to install surface water treatment and monitoring systems
  • DNR required sampling of private wells and provision of safe alternate water to homeowners
  • DNR requested that the cities of Marinette and Peshtigo sample and not land-spread their biosolids
  • DNR is working with the Wis. Dept. of Health Services (DHS) on establishing groundwater standards for PFOA and PFOS, and sent a request for 34 more PFAS standards to DHS
  • DNR is overseeing investigation and technical review of JCI/Tyco submittals.
  • DNR is assisting JCI/Tyco, local governments and citizens on a long-term solution to contaminated drinking water and groundwater in the town of Peshtigo.
  • DNR is working with the city of Peshtigo and JCI to determine the source of PFAS contamination in the city's biosolids from its wastewater treatment facility.
  • DNR hired a contractor with international expertise in PFAS to provide technical support to the DNR.

For additional information, see Frequently Asked Questions.

Investigations

Investigations

Responsible parties (RPs) that cause a discharge of a hazardous substance or environmental pollution are required to report, investigate and clean up contamination. RPs are required to immediately notify the state of a discharge of a hazardous substance regardless of whether the discharge is confined to the property where the contamination occurred or has migrated to another property. The DNR follows the process outlined in NR 700, Wis. Adm. Code, to inform the RP of their requirements, which includes a recommendation to hire a qualified consultant to investigate and remediate contamination in compliance with relevant laws. RPs may also be required to conduct immediate or interim actions, such as providing bottled water or water filtration systems.

DNR Database

To view information on sites where PFAS contamination has been reported to the DNR, go to the Remediation and Redevelopment Program database (BRRTS on the Web). To find sites with PFAS contamination in the database, go to the "Advanced Search" tab. Then, and under "Substances" search for "PFAS."

PFAS Contamination Sources in the Marinette and Peshtigo Area

JCI/Tyco Stanton St. Campus – 1 Stanton Street, Marinette

This site totals 66 acres and is in north-northeastern Marinette, directly south of the Menominee River. JCI/Tyco operates a fire extinguisher and fire suppression system manufacturing facility at this location.

Latest actions

  • JCI/Tyco has halted sending AFFF foam to the Marinette and Peshtigo wastewater treatment plants due to high levels of PFAS in the biosolids.
  • At the DNR's request, both cities are storing their biosolids until an effective disposal method can be approved by the DNR.
  • JCI/Tyco continues to define the extent of groundwater, soil, sediment and surface water contamination associated with their operations.
JCI/Tyco Fire Technology Center (FTC) – 2700 Industrial Parkway, Marinette

The Fire Technology Center is a 380-acre property located on the southern edge of the city of Marinette. The facility conducted outdoor training with aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) from the 1960s until 2017.

Latest actions

  • JCI/Tyco has sampled 168 private wells in the city of Marinette and town of Peshtigo study area. 58 wells have tested positive for PFAS and 29 wells have levels exceeding the state Department of Health Services recommended groundwater quality standard of 20 ppt combined for PFOA and PFOS. The map below shows where private wells have been sampled; the legend identifies the value of sample results in accordance with EPA's Health Advisory Level (HAL) (i.e., yellow shows sample results above the HAL).
  • JCI/Tyco provided 37 properties with point of entry treatment (POET) drinking water systems. DNR is requiring that JCI/Tyco provide a long-term, protective solution for those citizens with impacted private wells.
  • JCI has submitted a draft interim action options report evaluating long-term solutions for contaminated private wells in the town of Peshtigo.
Map showing where private wells have been sampled.
Map showing where private wells have been sampled. The legend identifies the value of sample results in accordance with EPA's HAL (i.e., yellow shows sample results above the HAL).

View an enlarged map.

Planned actions

  • JCI/Tyco is constructing two interim remedies to collect and treat contaminated surface water prior to it reaching Lake Michigan.
  • JCI/Tyco is expected to submit a plan to DNR in July to address controlling and treating the most highly contaminated groundwater, which is on the FTC site.
  • JCI/Tyco is continuing with their site investigation and evaluating whether additional private well and groundwater sampling may be needed.
Chem Design Products, Inc. – 2 Stanton Street, Marinette

The Chem Design Products facility is located in north-northeastern Marinette, directly south of the Menominee River.

Land-spreading fields associated with PFAS-contaminated biosolids from the Marinette Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP)

For additional information, see Frequently Asked Questions.

Drinking Water

Drinking Water Sampling and Analysis

PFAS was detected in potable drinking water wells sampled by JCI/Tyco as part of their site investigation. The table below shows a summary of all drinking water sample results completed through June 1, 2019.

PFAS Sampling Conducted by JCI/Tyco in the Marinette/Peshtigo Area through June 1, 2019
Type of Sample Media Number of Samples Collected 1 Number of Non-detects Number of Samples with Detects Greater than EPA HAL 2 Number of Samples with Detects Greater than DHS Recommended Groundwater Standard 3
Drinking Water (Potable Wells) 168 110 16 29
Groundwater 39 0 PFOA: ND to 254,000 ppt
PFOS: ND to 64,000 ppt
Shallow Groundwater 51 26 PFOA: ND to 1,140 ppt
PFOS: ND to 97.9 ppt
Surface Water 36 0 PFOA: ND to 6,000 ppt
PFOS: ND to 1,100 ppt
Sediment 18 3 PFOA: ND to 550 ppb
PFOS: ND to 100 ppb
Soil 39 0 PFOA: 0.97 to 1300 ppb
PFOS: ND to 380 ppb
1 PFAS Analytes Sampled: PFOS and PFOA
2 EPA HAL: 70 ppt
3 DHS Recommended Groundwater Standard: 20 ppt
ND = No Detect
ppb = parts per billion
ppt = parts per trillion

The table references the 70 ppt Health Advisory Level (HAL) issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the 20 ppt recommended groundwater standard issued by Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) on June 21, 2019.

The EPA HAL and the DHS recommended groundwater standards are for PFOA and PFOS levels combined. Both the EPA HAL and the recommended DHS groundwater standard are set at a level to protect people, including sensitive populations like people who are pregnant and babies, from any health effects associated with PFOA and PFOS exposures. The groundwater standard recommended by DHS is based on more recent scientific findings.

Interim drinking water sources

As PFAS was detected in drinking water supplies, JCI/Tyco has supplied affected community members with bottled water and/or water filtration systems as an interim action. The water filtrations systems are referred to as Point-of-Entry-Treatment (POET) systems.

Long-term drinking water options

As part of the overall site investigation process, JCI/Tyco has worked closely with their consultant to evaluate what types of long-term potable water solutions are available for community members in this area. JCI/Tyco has published a report documenting their evaluation process through May 2019.

The DNR will continue to work with JCI/Tyco, its consultants, the affected well owners and local units of government to ensure an appropriate long-term potable water supply solution is implemented.

City of Marinette public water supply

The city of Marinette voluntarily sampled their public drinking water supply. Results of sampling efforts can be viewed on the city of Marinette's website.

City of Peshtigo public water supply

The city of Peshtigo voluntarily sampled their public drinking water supply. Results of sampling efforts can be viewed on the city of Peshtigo's website.

Town of Peshtigo – well drilling notification

DNR issued a notice to well drillers requesting they contact DNR prior to drilling new water supply wells in the affected area. The purpose of this directive is to ensure well drillers and their customers have all the pertinent information needed to make decisions about well construction.

For additional information, see Frequently Asked Questions.

Wastewater/Biosolids

Wastewater and Biosolids

PFAS can enter the wastewater stream through several sources (e.g., sanitary sewer discharges, consumer products) and has the potential to ultimately end up in the organic sludge generated as a byproduct of wastewater treatment known as "biosolids." JCI/Tyco historically discharged their fire-fighting foams from the Fire Technology Center into the city of Marinette's sanitary sewer as part of a permitted discharging entity. JCI/Tyco ceased discharging to the Marinette Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) in March 2019 in order to allow for an investigation of the potential impact of their discharges to overall WWTP processes and practices.

Land application of biosolids is a common wastewater beneficial reuse method for disposing of biosolids as they can provide nutrients and organic matter for crop production. Once the city of Marinette learned of the PFAS contamination at the JCI/Tyco Fire Technology Center, they agreed to hold biosolids and refrain from permitting applicators to landspread biosolids until further direction.

City of Marinette

The city of Marinette has sampled for PFAS to determine the potential for PFAS contamination associated with WWTP plant processes including their influent, effluent, biosolids and at several points in the collection system. Sample results are available on the city of Marinette's PFOA and PFAS webpage under the "Wastewater Analysis" and "Biosolids Analysis" headings.

Because PFAS were detected in biosolids from the WWTP, the DNR asked the city of Marinette to hold biosolids rather than landspreading and is working with the city and JCI to determine an appropriate method of remediating the PFAS-contaminated biosolids.

The city of Marinette has an interactive map on their website that shows past locations where biosolids were spread.

City of Peshtigo

The city of Peshtigo began voluntarily holding their biosolids in 2019. The city utilized a similar process at their WWTP of separating the liquid portion of the waste stream and landspreading the remaining biosolids material on agricultural fields in and around the community. The city had their biosolids tested in May 2019. PFAS were detected in the biosolids and DNR has asked the city of Peshtigo to continue to withhold their biosolids from landspreading practices until further notice.

For additional information, see Frequently Asked Questions.

Surface Water/Fish

Surface Water

As PFAS have been detected in surface waters in the Marinette and Peshtigo area, DNR requested DHS to assess health risks associated with surface waters and foam. Specifically, DHS was asked to help develop language for signs that will be posted in these communities.

On June 21, 2019, DHS provided a letter to DNR [PDF] describing the health effects associated with exposure to PFAS via surface water and foam. In their letter, DHS noted that people can be exposed to PFAS during recreational activities in streams and ponds.

  • Accidental swallowing (ingestion) is the main source of PFAS exposure in water, especially in children as they swallow more water than adults during recreational activities.
  • Touching water (dermal contact) with PFAS contamination is a minor source of PFAS exposure; available information suggests that PFAS do not easily enter through the skin.

DHS's recommendation in their letter is as follows:

"To best protect people from potential PFAS exposure from surface water, DHS recommends people avoid drinking or accidentally swallowing the water or foam and wash their hands after wading or playing in the water."

DNR is working with JCI/Tyco to distribute public notification to homeowners along surface waters and to install signs at surface water access points throughout the communities. The following maps show ponds and drainage ditches that have been contaminated with PFAS.

Surface water and fish tissue sampling

DNR will begin an effort to sample streams and fish for PFAS in 2019. The paired collection of fish tissue and surface water chemistry will aid in development of a water quality standard for surface waters of the state. The sampling will be conducted in several study areas including the Menominee River near the city of Marinette. Sites have been selected throughout the state in order to characterize local conditions in a number of different locations.

For additional information, see Frequently Asked Questions.

Health

Health information and resources

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) is supporting the DNR in assessing human health risks associated with the PFAS contamination in the Marinette and Peshtigo area, including providing recommendations to reduce those risks. For health-related questions, please email DHS at DHSEnvHealth@dhs.wisconsin.gov.

DHS has issued two letters to DNR describing PFAS exposure pathways, health concerns and mechanisms to reduce PFAS exposure:

The DNR and DHS issued a Do Not Eat Advisory for the liver of white-tailed deer in the Marinette area based on the results of PFAS sampling in deer tissue. More information can be found on the safely eating wild game page.

Learn more about health effects of various PFAS on the following websites.

For additional information, see Frequently Asked Questions.