PFAS Contamination in the Marinette and Peshtigo Area
PFAS contamination has been detected in Marinette, Peshtigo and surrounding communities in soil, private wells, surface water and groundwater.
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PFAS Contamination Sites
In 2017, Johnson Controls, Inc. and Tyco Fire Products (JCI/Tyco) began investigating PFAS contamination in the Marinette and Peshtigo area. Since 2017, additional sites in the area have been identified and are summarized below. Detailed reports may be accessed using the links below or by searching the DNR database (BRRTS on the Web).
- JCI/Tyco Fire Technology Center (FTC) – 2700 Industrial Parkway, Marinette (BRRTS #02-38-580694)
- JCI/Tyco Stanton St. Campus – 1 Stanton Street, Marinette (BRRTS #02-38-581955)
- Chem Design Products, Inc. – 2 Stanton Street, Marinette (BRRTS #02-38-583852)
- Biosolids Landspreading Fields (BRRTS #02-38-583856)
- Public 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).There are no upcoming meetings listed at this time.
Previous Public Meetings
Public Meeting Date Time(s) Location Information 2023 Listening Session 19 May 3, 2023 Noon-2 p.m. and 5-6:30 p.m.
Northeast Wisconsin Technical College
Remote via Zoom and phone
Presentation 2022 Listening Session 18 Oct. 26, 2022 Noon-2 p.m. and 6-7:30 p.m.
Northeast Wisconsin Technical College
Remote via Zoom and phone
Listening Session 17 April 20, 2022 Noon-2 p.m. and 6-7:30 p.m. Remote via web and phone Listening Session Jan. 19, 2022 CANCELED 2021 Listening Session 16 Oct. 20, 2021 noon-2 p.m. and 6-7:30 p.m. Remote via web and phone Listening Session 15 July 21, 2021 noon-2 p.m. and 6-7:30 p.m. Remote via web and phone Listening Session 14 May 19, 2021 noon-2 p.m. and 6-7:30 p.m. Remote via web and phone Public hearing to receive public comments on the air pollution control permit application for the renewal of Air Pollution Control Operation Permit 438039470-F30 May 4, 2021 3-5 p.m. Remote via web and phone Public Hearing Notice Listening Session 13 March 17, 2021 noon-2 p.m. and 6-7:30 p.m. Remote via web and phone Agenda
Listening Session 12 (Remote) Jan. 20, 2021 1-3 p.m. and 6-7:30 p.m. Remote via web and phone Agenda
2020 Listening Session 11 (Remote) Nov. 18, 2020 noon-2 p.m. and 6-7:30 p.m. Remote via web and phone Agenda
Town of Peshtigo Special Meeting – DNR Guest Speaker Nov. 10, 2020 6 p.m. DNR attended the meeting remotely Presentation Listening Session 10 (Remote) Sept. 16, 2020 noon-2 p.m. and 6-7:30 p.m. Remote via web and phone Agenda
Listening Session 9 (Remote) July 15, 2020 noon-2 p.m. and 6-7:30 p.m. Remote via web and phone Agenda
Listening Session 8 (Remote) May 20, 2020 noon-2 p.m. and 6-7:30 p.m. Remote via web and phone Agenda
Listening Session 7 (Remote) April 15, 2020 noon-2 p.m. and 6-7:30 p.m. Remote via web and phone Agenda
Listening Session 6 Feb.19, 2020 noon-2 p.m. and 6-7:30 p.m. Community REC Center, 2501 Pierce Ave., Marinette Agenda
Listening Session 5 Jan. 15, 2020 noon-2 p.m. and 6-7:30 p.m. Community REC Center, 2501 Pierce Ave., Marinette Agenda
2019 Listening Session 4 Dec. 18, 2019 noon-2 p.m. and 6-7:30 p.m. Community REC Center, 2501 Pierce Ave., Marinette Agenda
Listening Session 3 Nov. 2019 noon-1:30 p.m. and 6-7:30 p.m. Community REC Center, 2501 Pierce Ave., Marinette Agenda
Listening Session 2 Oct. 16, 2019 6-7:30 p.m. Community REC Center, 2501 Pierce Ave., Marinette Agenda
Listening Session 1 Sept. 18, 2019 6-7:30 p.m. Community REC Center, 2501 Pierce Ave., Marinette Agenda
Public Meeting July 10, 2019 6-8 p.m. Community REC Center, 2501 Pierce Ave., Marinette Presentation
- Activities, Actions and Updates
Summary of Actions
Date Action and Details 2023 Aug. 2023 JCI/Tyco provides an update on monitoring of the deep bedrock aquifer. Aug. 2023 JCI/Tyco submits a work plan for additional site investigation to address data gaps for the FTC site. July 2023 The DNR received the report documenting construction and initial testing results for the new high school irrigation well. June 2023 The DNR provides a Technical Review and Recommendations to Close Data Gaps in response to JCI/Tyco Site Investigation Status Report. June 2023 The DNR requests new downstream sample locations to monitor effectiveness of the Ditch A and Ditch B treatment systems. May 2023 JCI/Tyco submits the Operations Plan and later the Construction Documentation Report for the GETS. April 2023 The DNR sends a Notification of Noncompliance after learning that JCI/Tyco will delay its investigation of the biosolids study area. March 2023 Reporting during startup shows the Groundwater Extraction and Treatment System (GETS) is working as planned and meeting discharge limits. As of the end of Jan. 2023, the GETS had treated approximately 10.5 million gallons of groundwater and removed approximately 0.9 pounds of PFOA and 0.07 pounds of PFOS from the environment. Feb. 2023 JCI/Tyco submits the 2022 Surface Water Foam Characterization Report. Jan. 2023 JCI/Tyco responds to the DNR's Nov. 2022 comments on Deep Wells. 2022 Dec. 2022 JCI/Tyco’s Biosolids Project Update receives a Technical Review from the DNR Nov. 2022 JCI/Tyco begins operating the Groundwater Extraction and Treatment System (GETS) on November 14, 2022. Oct. 2022 JCI/Tyco’s submits report documenting evaluation of high school irrigation well. Oct. 2022 DNR updates the FAQ webpage to address recent questions, including those related to long-term water solutions. Sept. 2022 JCI/Tyco offers certain residents in its potable well sampling area (PWSA) the option to have a new deep drinking water well installed. The DNR requests Technical Information and Clarification on Timeline, and JCI/Tyco submits a Plan for Deep Wells and Deep Aquifer Monitoring Plan for the PWSA. Aug. 2022 DNR provides a Technical Review of JCI/Tyco’s GETS Pre-Startup Data Package (now with Addendum). These will be the baseline data used to evaluate the effects the GETS has on Ditch B and the nearby groundwater. Aug. 2022 JCI/Tyco provides update on the design and location of the PFAS Surface Water Advisory Signs. July 2022 JCI/Tyco’s Potable Wells Sampling Plan – version 5 receives a Technical Review from the DNR. June 2022 The DNR issues Response Letter to JCI/Tyco's Ditch A Treatment Progress Report #6. The DNR issues Response and Recommendations to JCI/Tyco's Ditch B Treatment Progress Report #5; the DNR recommends a method to report surface water quality downstream of treatment in Ditch B. May 2022 For the Stanton Site, the DNR issues a Response Letter to JCI/Tyco's March 2022 groundwater summary report and a site investigation workplan for additional monitoring to be done in 2022. April 2022 The DNR approves and provides recommendations to JCI/Tyco's site investigation workplan for the FTC site, which calls for more permanent monitoring wells and surface water monitoring in summer 2022. March 2022 The DNR approves JCI/Tyco's surface water foam 2021 summary and 2022 monitoring plan for ditches near the FTC site. Collection of surface water foam in Ditch B began on March 18th. Feb. 2022 The DNR comments on JCI/Tyco's Preliminary Assessment Plan for the biosolids landspreading fields that were submitted on Dec. 23, 2021. Jan. 2022 New PFAS Fish Consumption Advisory Issued for Bay of Green Bay and Associated Tributaries. 2021 Dec. 2021 JCI/Tyco submits a site investigation workplan for the biosolids study area. JCI/Tyco will select six fields to sample soil and groundwater in 2022. JCI/Tyco will offer bottled water to certain residents during the investigation but will not test private wells. Dec. 2021 JCI/Tyco states they will not test private wells nor provide drinking water in the Expanded Site Investigation Area in the town of Peshtigo. Dec. 2021 The DNR accepts JCI/Tyco's new deadline to update the surface water advisory signs by April 30, 2022, to allow time for stakeholder input and local government approval. Dec. 2021 The DNR issues a letter to JCI/Tyco to test certain drinking water wells in the biosolids study area for PFAS. Oct. 2021 The DNR outlines data gaps in the FTC site investigation and directs JCI/Tyco to investigate and provide alternative drinking water in the expanded site investigation area. Oct. 2021 The DNR issued a letter to JCI/Tyco outlining the required site investigation actions for the Fire Technology Center site. The letter directs JCI/Tyco to submit a site investigation work plan, a plan for long-term monitoring of potable wells, to take over testing of all potable wells and to take over provisions of alternative drinking water in the expanded site investigation area. Sept. 2021 The DNR issued a notice of noncompliance for the land-spreading fields associated with PFAS-contaminated biosolids and response to JCI/Tyco's Drinking Water Well Sampling Summary Report – Land Applied Biosolids Area. Sept. 2021 The DNR issued a letter regarding updates to surface water advisory signs and public notification methods to JCI/Tyco. Aug. 2021 JCI/Tyco submitted the results of the latest collection of surface water foam from waterways in the city of Marinette and the town of Peshtigo. Read the entire message. July 2021 The DNR posted the draft air pollution control permit for ChemDesign Products, Inc. at 2 Stanton Street in Marinette. Public comments will be accepted through Aug. 4, 2021. Air Permit Tracking page for permit #438008340-F30 June 2021 JCI/Tyco's testing confirms the presence of PFAS in surface water foam collected from waterways in the city of Marinette. Read the full message. June 2021 The DNR issued a review and required actions in response to JCI/Tyco's Soil Interim Action Plan to excavate and dispose of highly contaminated soil from the FTC site. June 2021 The DNR-led sampling of private drinking water wells for PFAS in the town of Peshtigo concludes after June 30, 2021. Read the entire message. June 2021 The DNR issued high-capacity well conditional approval to three properties (JCI/Tyco Property, Lake Farm Trails Property, City Property) where JCI/Tyco plans to operate nine extraction wells for the groundwater extraction treatment system (GETS). May 2021 The DNR issued a conditional approval letter regarding JCI/Tyco's groundwater extraction treatment system (GETS) design report to address areas of highly contaminated groundwater near the FTC site. May 2021 The DNR provides information regarding a memo from the Department of Health Services (DHS) updating its recommendation that sources of water with PFAS below DHS-recommended health-based groundwater standards can be used for fruit and vegetable gardening. Read the full recommendations. April 2021 JCI/Tyco submitted a Site Investigation Work Plan to evaluate the air migration pathway from the FTC site. April 2021 JCI/Tyco submitted a Foam Response Work Plan summarizing monitoring and removal activities of foam in waterways in the city of Marinette and the town of Peshtigo. April 2021 The DNR issued a letter to JCI/Tyco responding to the Groundwater Flow and Solute Transport Model report for the FTC. March 2021 The DNR adopts DHS's recommendation to use the Hazard Index (HI) approach to assess the cumulative risk of certain PFAS due to ingestion in drinking water. Read the DHS Hazard Index letter. March 2021
The DNR posted the draft air operation permit renewal for Tyco Fire Products at 1 Stanton Street in Marinette. Public comments will be accepted through April 21, 2021.
March 2021 DNR Cannot Intervene in the Tyco Class Action Lawsuit March 2021
The DNR sends information packets and letters to potable well owners in the Expanded Site Investigation Area who remain eligible for well testing but have not yet been sampled, and to those whose well may be retested as part of confirmation sampling.
March 5, 2021 The DNR issues a notification to JCI/Tyco regarding the DNR's lab certification adjustments for testing of PFAS compounds; JCI/Tyco is still required to sample for 36 analytes as a part of its site investigation activities. Feb. 2021 JCI/Tyco submitted a remedial action plan for a Groundwater Extraction Treatment System (GETS). The GETS is designed to extract and treat PFAS-contaminated groundwater near the FTC. Feb. 2021 The DNR issues a discussion summary to JCI/Tyco regarding wetlands permitting requirements for proposed wetland impacts near the FTC associated with the Groundwater Extraction Treatment System (GETS). Feb. 2021 The DNR issues a letter to JCI/Tyco responding to its Aerial Deposition Evaluation for the FTC. Feb. 2021 JCI/Tyco submitted a Foam Response Work Plan summarizing monitoring and removal activities of foam in waterways in the city of Marinette and the town of Peshtigo. Feb. 2021 The DNR issues a response to JCI/Tyco regarding its plan to evaluate potable well sample results compared to the Cycle 11 DHS Recommended Groundwater Standards. DNR informed JCI/Tyco that all wells that had not yet been sampled for 36 PFAS compounds must be re-sampled. Jan. 2021 The DNR issues a letter requesting JCI/Tyco submit foam response work plan after reviewing findings from response actions taken to address foam on waterways in the city of Marinette and the town of Peshtigo in 2020. 2020 Dec. 2020 DNR Issues Wastewater Discharge Permit for JCI/Tyco Facility in Marinette Nov. 2020 The DHS issues new recommendations to DNR for Wisconsin groundwater standards. Read more. Oct. 2020 The Remediation and Redevelopment Program added new faces to and centralized all oversight and project management of remediation cases associated with the area-wide PFAS contamination in Marinette, Peshtigo and surrounding communities. Read more. Oct. 2020 The DNR receives analytical sample results from JCI/Tyco for fish tissue; results for many of the samples are inconclusive. Read more. Oct. 2020 JCI/Tyco submitted fish tissue data from three private ponds in the town of Peshtigo. The results are inconclusive; the remaining fish tissue was sent to an alternate lab for further analysis. Sept. 2020
The DNR sends packets of information to potable well owners in Expanded Site Investigation Area regarding DNR's well sampling plans.
Sept. 2020 The 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.
Aug. 2020 News release: Elevated PFAS Levels Found In Ditch Downstream Of JCI/Tyco Aug. 2020 The 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. 2020 News release: DNR Public Notices Wastewater Discharge Permit for JCI/Tyco Facility in Marinette July 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 2020 JCI/Tyco submitted a Foam Monitoring Immediate Actions Report, documenting foam observation and collection efforts. July 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 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 2020 JCI/Tyco submitted a draft Aerial Deposition Evaluation report for the FTC site. June 2020 JCI/Tyco submitted a draft Interim Site Investigation for the FTC site. June 2020 JCI/Tyco submitted a draft conceptual site model (CSM) for the FTC site. June 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 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 2020 The 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 2020 The 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 2020 The 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 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 2020 The 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 2020 The 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 2019. April, 2020 The DNR approves JCI/Tyco fish sampling plan for private ponds associated with the Fire Technology Center in Marinette. April 2020 The 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 2020 The 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 2020 JCI began collecting water samples for PFAS analysis from drinking water wells around the 61 fields where biosolids have been landspread. Feb. 2020 The 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. 2020 The 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. 2020 The DNR executed an access agreement with JCI/Tyco that will allow the USDA to cull deer from the JCI/Tyco Fire Technology Center property to evaluate potential PFAS contaminant levels in deer. Feb. 2020 The 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. 2020 The DNR hosted a meeting with JCI/Tyco to discuss the status of all JCI/Tyco investigations for PFAS contamination. Jan. 2020 News release: DNR Providing Emergency Drinking Water to Homeowner with PFAS Contamination Near JCI Investigation Area 2019 Dec. 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. 2019 The DNR sent a letter to JCI/Tyco responding to the October 2019 Draft Remedial Action Options Report for the Fire Technology Center (FTC) Dec. 2019 The DNR mailed an informational postcard with details of the December 18th Listening Session to be attended by Attorney General Josh Kaul. Postcards went out to 11,500 households. Nov. 2019 The DNR mailed listening session informational postcards to 11,500 households. Oct. 2019 The DNR received results for foam and water samples collected in Marinette and Peshtigo area. Oct. 2019 The DNR issued a Notice of Noncompliance (NON) for failure to begin an investigation of biosolid-applied fields, including potable well sampling within 1200 feet of the fields. Oct. 2019 The DNR shared water chemistry data for surface water bodies sampled around the state. Sept. 2019 The 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. 2019 Wisconsin Department of Health Services provided a letter to DNR describing health effects associated with exposure to PFAS via floodwaters entering homes in areas where PFAS have been detected in groundwater. Aug. 2019 The 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 2019 The 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 2019 The DNR sent a letter to JCI/Tyco responding to the May 2019 Remedial Action Options Report for the Fire Technology Center (FTC) July 2019 The DNR sent a letter to JCI/Tyco requiring by Sept. 3, 2019, the site investigation work plan for the fields on which Marinette biosolids were spread. July 2019 The DNR issued Responsible Party letter requiring investigation of biosolid-applied fields and potable well sampling. July 2019 The 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 2019 The DNR issued a Responsible Party letter to Chem Design Products, Inc. July 2019 The DNR issued a Potentially Responsible Party letter to JCI regarding a leased property on Woleske Road, Marinette. July 2019 The DNR sent a letter to JCI/Tyco requiring signage along ditches June 2019 The DNR issued a notice to well drillers requesting they contact DNR prior to drilling new water supply wells in the affected area. May 2019 DNR referred JCI/Tyco to the Wisconsin Department of Justice
- Background – Fire Technology Center
JCI/Tyco Fire Technology Center (FTC) – 2700 Industrial Parkway, Marinette
The FTC is a 380-acre property owned by JCI/Tyco on the southwestern side of Marinette. The FTC is the most significant source of PFAS contamination identified in the area to date. Discharges of PFAS to the environment occurred as a result of training, testing and research and development of aqueous film forming foam (AFFF), a type of PFAS-containing firefighting foam. Outdoor training with AFFF occurred from the 1960s until 2017. Investigation and cleanup activities are ongoing:
- Beginning in 2017, JCI/Tyco took steps to reduce discharges of PFAS from this facility, including cessation of outdoor testing of AFFF, construction of an indoor AFFF testing facility and construction of a wastewater treatment facility to remove PFAS from its industrial wastewater.
- The highest concentration of PFOA + PFOS detected in groundwater on the FTC property is greater than 100,000 parts per trillion (ppt).
- PFAS-impacted groundwater from the FTC property migrated off-site and spans an area of over 10 square miles. The contaminated groundwater plume also extends downward into bedrock. Surface waters in ponds and flowing in ditches near the FTC contain PFAS. The contamination flows into the Bay of Green Bay and impacts private drinking water wells south of the FTC in the town of Peshtigo (see Drinking Water, below).
- Additional investigation is required to define how far the contamination has spread.
- JCI/Tyco has taken steps to begin the cleanup of PFAS in the environment near the FTC. Cleanup actions include excavating PFAS-contaminated soil on the FTC property, operating two surface water treatment systems to reduce the PFAS concentration flowing in Ditches A and B, and operating a groundwater extraction and treatment system (GETS) to capture highly contaminated groundwater flowing east from the FTC. The GETS is expected to operate for several decades.
- Additional actions to clean up the contamination will likely be needed; the current actions will not clean up contamination in groundwater south of the FTC that is impacting private drinking water wells.
- Background – Stanton Street
Stanton Street Sites – 1 and 2 Stanton Street, Marinette
BRRTS 02-38-581955 and BRRTS 02-38-583852
The Stanton Street campus is a 66-acre property owned by JCI/Tyco on the eastern side of Marinette along the Menominee River. JCI/Tyco blends and packages AFFF and manufactures fire extinguishers at this facility. ChemDesign Products, Inc. (ChemDesign), a synthetic organic chemistry toll service provider, processes PFAS-containing materials for JCI/Tyco within the 7 acres it leases on the property. JCI/Tyco and ChemDesign are investigating PFAS contamination associated with their operations, respectively, at the Stanton Street campus.
- In 2019, JCI/Tyco initiated a site investigation at the Stanton Street site. In 2021, ChemDesign initiated a site investigation focused on its leased areas and operations on the property.
- A limited number of samples were collected from groundwater, soil, and sanitary sewers; PFAS contamination was confirmed in all media sampled.
- The highest concentration of PFOA + PFOS detected in groundwater at the Stanton property is greater than 10,000 ppt.
- Additional investigation is needed to determine where the PFAS contamination has spread.
The Stanton Street campus is also a cleanup site for arsenic contamination; the arsenic cleanup case has been active since 1976. The site investigation and cleanup activities for the arsenic contamination (BRRTS 02-38-000011) has included dredging of contaminated sediment in Menominee River adjacent to the site, and construction of a containment system to limit migration of contaminated groundwater from the property.
- Background – Biosolids Landspreading Fields
Biosolids Landspreading Fields
Biosolids are the organic material generated as a byproduct at wastewater treatment plants (WWTP). Biosolids are commonly land-applied to agricultural fields as a source of nutrients for crops. The city of Marinette was approved to land-apply biosolids to 61 fields in the area.
In 2018, PFAS were detected in the city of Marinette's sanitary sewers that received wastewater from JCI/Tyco's FTC and Stanton Street properties. In general, municipal WWTPs were not equipped to remove PFAS, and if PFAS were in wastewater received by the WWTP, then the PFAS could pass through the facility into the biosolids. The city's subsequent testing in 2018 detected high concentrations of PFAS in biosolids from its WWTP. Following this, the city ceased land application of its biosolids.
- Sept. 10, 2018, letter from DNR to Marinette re: biosolids spreading
- March 1, 2019, letter from DNR to Marinette re: biosolids disposal
The city of Marinette has an interactive map on its website that shows past locations where biosolids were land-applied. JCI/Tyco is responsible for investigating PFAS contamination where these biosolids were previously land-applied. ChemDesign is also responsible for evaluating its contribution of PFAS to the city of Marinette's WWTP.
- In 2020, JCI/Tyco collected samples from private drinking water wells within 1,200 feet of the 61 fields where biosolids were land-applied. PFAS contamination was detected in some of the private drinking water wells (see Drinking Water tab). The highest concentration of PFOA and PFOS detected in private drinking water samples collected near the landspreading fields is greater than 1,000 ppt.
- JCI/Tyco is providing bottled water to residents with impacted private wells and wells that are within certain distances of these fields.
- In November 2022, the DNR collected six surface water samples from Lake Noquebay to evaluate the current PFAS concentrations in the lake. The concentrations of PFOA were less than 1 ppt and PFOS were less than 0.2 ppt. The results are available on the DNR's PFAS Data Viewer.
- A site investigation is needed to define the degree and extent of PFAS contamination in and around the 61 fields. In April 2023, the DNR sent a Notification of Noncompliance after learning that JCI/Tyco will delay its investigation of the biosolids study area.
- Drinking Water
Private Drinking Water Wells
PFAS were detected in private drinking water wells sampled as part of the ongoing investigations in the area. The results are summarized below and compared to the Department of Health Services' recommended groundwater standards and hazard index for assessing cumulative risk.
- Map of Private Drinking Well Results - FTC
- Map of Private Drinking Well Results - Biosolid Landspreading Fields
Private Drinking Water Results Through Dec. 31, 2021
Site Summary Reports Number of Wells Max Conc.1 Wells Tested PFAS Not Detected PFAS < RES PFAS ≥ RES and/or HI ≥ 1 FTC (PWSA) 172 37 97 38 2,100 ppt FTC (ESIA) June 2022 Report [PDF] 415 85 298 32 270 ppt Biosolids Landspreading Fields September 2020 Report 191 31 130 30 2,200 ppt 1 Concentration of PFOA + PFOS + FOSA + NEtFOSA + NEtFOSAA + NEtFOSE RES = Recommended Enforcement Standard (Cycle 10 and Cycle 11)
HI = Hazard Index for assessing the cumulative risk of PFAS using Cycle 11 recommended standards
ppt = parts per trillion
PWSA = Private Well Sampling Area (testing conducted by JCI/Tyco)
ESIA = Expanded Site Investigation Area (testing conducted by DNR)
Marinette and Peshtigo Public Water Supply
The cities of Marinette and Peshtigo voluntarily sampled their public drinking water supplies for PFAS.
- Safe Drinking Water Solutions and New Wells
Bottled water is a source of safe drinking water to households that have a PFAS-contaminated well. However, because the PFAS is expected to remain in the impacted aquifers for a very long time, other long-term solutions to safe drinking water are needed. The feasible and available options vary by location.
A municipal water supply is generally a preferred solution for long-term safe drinking water because municipal systems are monitored regularly and maintained by licensed professionals to meet standards. However, hook-up to a municipal water supply may not always be feasible or desired.
Other solutions may include in-home treatment systems to filter PFAS from private wells or a new well installed in an uncontaminated aquifer (usually deeper). Each of these options comes with additional required actions to verify drinking water is safe.
- In-home treatment systems must be properly selected and maintained to remove PFAS. Occasional PFAS testing is recommended to verify treatment remains effective over time.
- For new wells, occasional testing is recommended to verify PFAS have not migrated and impacted the new well.
- In the Marinette-Peshtigo area, naturally occurring contaminants that may present a health risk (e.g., radium and strontium) are frequently detected in the deeper aquifer. In-home treatment is recommended to filter water from deep wells, and occasional testing is recommended to verify effectiveness of the selected treatment.
Progress toward implementing a long-term safe drinking water solution varies by area.
- FTC - Private Well Sampling Area (PWSA): JCI/Tyco evaluated long-term water supply solutions for this area in a May 2019 report. Some residents in the PWSA are exploring options for municipal water, while others have opted to have JCI/Tyco install them a new deep well and others continue to accept bottled water or in-home treatment for PFAS from JCI/Tyco.
- FTC - Expanded Site Investigation Area (ESIA): JCI/Tyco has refused to sample private wells or provide bottled water in this area, as stated in a December 2021 letter. The DNR currently provides bottled water to residents having private wells with PFAS at or above DHS recommendations. The town of Peshtigo has included the ESIA in its exploration of options for municipal water for the town.
- Biosolids Landspreading Fields: JCI/Tyco currently provides bottled water to residents having private wells with PFAS at or above DHS recommendations and other residents who live near these locations, but whose wells have not been tested for PFAS (November 2021 letter). Other long-term solutions have not been evaluated for this area.
Well Drilling Notification
The DNR issued a notice to well drillers regarding PFAS in June 2019 requesting they contact the DNR before drilling new water supply wells in the area to ensure they have pertinent information about the PFAS contamination.
In October 2023, the DNR issued a notice to well drillers regarding deep wells requesting they alert customers about possible water quality issues in the deep aquifer in the area to ensure they can make informed decisions regarding their well construction.
- Non-Potable Wells & Basement Water
Some residents in the Marinette and Peshtigo area have private wells used for purposes other than drinking water (e.g., gardening, filling swimming pools). Depending on the depth and location, these wells may draw water that is contaminated with PFAS. Homeowners who no longer wish to use their non-potable private well may choose to have their well properly filled and sealed.
- The DHS issued a letter with recommendations to reduce exposure to PFAS when private well water is used for fruit and vegetable gardening or filling pools.
- The DHS published a fact sheet with information and safety tips for home gardeners in areas with known PFAS contamination.
Groundwater that infiltrates into basements in the area may be impacted with PFAS. The DHS issued a letter with recommendations to reduce exposure to PFAS if contaminated groundwater leaks into a basement.
- Surface Water & Fish
Surface Water And Foam
PFAS were detected in surface water samples collected from ponds and ditches in the area; the following maps show the locations and testing results for surface water samples JCI/Tyco has collected to date.
- May, June and July 2018 Surface Water Results - North
- May, June and July 2018 Surface Water Results - South
- Dec. 2020 Surface Water Results – Ponds
Results from testing that the DNR has completed in this area are available on the DNR's PFAS Data Viewer.
PFAS are also present in foams that may occasionally form on surface water impacted with PFAS. More information can be found on the PFAS and Foam on Waterways webpage.
JCI/Tyco maintains advisory signs along affected waterways. The signs advise to:
- Avoid touching the foam that may accumulate on these waterways
- Avoid swallowing or drinking the impacted water
- Wash skin and pets as soon as possible after contacting the foam or impacted water
The highest concentrations of PFAS in surface water were detected in samples collected from Ditches A and B. JCI/Tyco currently maintains treatment systems to reduce the concentration of PFAS in the water in Ditch A and Ditch B. The systems capture and treat surface water in each ditch using granular activated carbon, and then discharge the treated water downstream. Operation and Monitoring (O&M) Reports for the Ditch A and Ditch B systems are available on BRRTS# 02-38-580694.
When surface water contains PFAS, foams that may form on the water surface tend to concentrate the PFAS and these foams may have higher concentrations of PFAS then the surface water. JCI/Tyco monitors five ditches in the area for foam, and removes and disposes of foam when it appears. JCI/Tyco's May 2021 and July 2021 reports contain PFAS-testing results for foam that formed on Ditch B.
PFAS were detected in fish tissue samples JCI/Tyco collected from local private ponds. The following reports summarize fish tissue results collected by JCI/Tyco.
- Fish Tissue PFAS Results - August 2020 Sampling
- Map and Fish Collection Summary - August 2020 Sampling
PFAS were detected in fish tissue samples collected by the DNR in the Peshtigo River and Bay of Green Bay. Information on the fish advisory resulting from the sampling effort is available in the DNR's January 2022 news release.
Statewide Surface Water and Fish Sampling
The DNR is conducting a multi-year, statewide monitoring project to sample fish tissue and water chemistry at select sites near known or probable sources of PFAS. Further information, results and maps are available on the Surface Water and Fish Tissue PFAS Sampling page. Fish consumption advisories related to PFAS are included on the Consumption Advisories and PFAS page.
In September 2020, 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 and in the news release.
- Health Information and Resources
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) supports the DNR in assessing human health risks associated with the PFAS contamination in the Marinette and Peshtigo area.
For health-related questions, please email DHS at DHSEnvHealth@dhs.wisconsin.gov.
Learn more and access resources about the health effects from PFAS on the following websites.