91.7 Ann Arbor/Detroit 104.1 Grand Rapids 91.3 Port Huron 89.7 Lansing 91.1 Flint
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Lawsuit filed against Michigan paper manufacturer regarding PFAS contamination

Foam caused by PFAS contamination at one of the many sites in the state where the "forever" chemicals have been found.
Lester Graham
Michigan Radio
Foam caused by PFAS contamination at one of the many sites in the state where the "forever" chemicals have been found.

Attorney General Dana Nessel has filed a lawsuit against Domtar Industries, Inc., a paper manufacturer. The lawsuit claims Domtar released paper sludge contaminated with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, commonly called PFAS.

Chemicals in the PFAS family have been used in a wide variety of applications. Often it's used for waterproofing. Other uses include paper food wrappers for items such as hamburgers.

“The paper waste came from their mill in Port Huron and is now at a facility called Techni-Comp, which is located in Port Huron Township,” said Polly Sync, an Assistant Attorney General and Section Head in the Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture Division.

Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy

Techni-Comp is a composting facility which accepted the paper sludge, unaware of the PFAS contamination.

“There have been groundwater and surface water hits detected by EGLE, the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy. And the groundwater hits are among the highest, if not the highest, in the state,” Sync said.

The suit calls for a court ruling that would hold Domtar Industries liable for costs and damages to clean up the pollution.

When contacted, Domtar responded by email that it does not comment on pending litigation.

This is one of several legal actions the Attorney General’s office is taking against manufacturers and users of PFAS in Michigan.

It’s part of an initiative by Attorney General Dana Nessel to tackle PFAS contamination in the state and its causes.

“While we’re happy to work with companies to address the problems –and we hope that is the case here, that we can get to the investigation and cleanup- where we need to use our laws to pursue litigation, we will do so,” said Sync.

Lester Graham reports for The Environment Report. He has reported on public policy, politics, and issues regarding race and gender inequity. He was previously with The Environment Report at Michigan Public from 1998-2010.
Related Content