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3M agrees to pay $55 million to Wolverine Worldwide for PFAS settlement

A rusty barrel in the woods
Bryce Huffman

Minnesota-based 3M will pay $55 million to Wolverine Worldwide to address PFAS contamination in Kent County.

Wolverine Worldwide is based in Rockford. It has said it could spend $113 million to meet its obligations in a settlement with the State of Michigan and two townships over PFAS. That money includes $69.5 million to extend a municipal water system to more than 1,000 residences where PFAS has been found in well water.

Wolverine will also pay to maintain water filters and continued testing.

Wolverine used PFAS in the process of making shoes at manufacturing facilities in the area. But the chemicals themselves originated with 3M.

Wolverine sued 3M, and now 3M has settled that lawsuit for $55 million, which will help pay for Wolverine to meet its obligations in the settlement with the state.

The Michigan Attorney General’s office says that settlement doesn’t affect a separate case it filed against a number of companies, including 3M, in Washtenaw County Circuit Court.

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Dustin Dwyer reports enterprise and long-form stories from Michigan Public’s West Michigan bureau. He was a fellow in the class of 2018 at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard. He’s been with Michigan Public since 2004, when he started as an intern in the newsroom.
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