The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is monitoring a spill at Tyco Fire Protection Products’ facility in Marinette — the site of an ongoing dispute between the company and the state over groundwater contamination.
According to a release from the DNR, there was “accidental release of a mixture of river water and contaminated groundwater” from the facility on Stanton Street. “Groundwater at the Stanton Street facility is contaminated with PFAS and arsenic from prior discharges,” the statement said.
PFAS, which is short for perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl chemicals, is linked to several health issues. Most companies have stopped using PFAS, but since the chemical takes a long time to break down they are still found in the environment.
Tyco, a subsidiary of Johnson Controls, notified the DNR on Sunday that a mixture of river water and contaminated groundwater entered storm sewer drains, which flow back to the Menominee River. The company, which makes firefighting foam, said water is being recovered from the site and placed into tanks.
The DNR said it is overseeing the effort to make sure the company is taking the proper steps to contain the spill.
The DNR and Tyco are battling over PFAS contamination in area wells. The DNR has traced the contamination to Tyco, asking it to test additional Marinette area wells. Tyco has not complied and the DNR issued a letter of noncompliance. The dispute remains unresolved.