MARINETTE, Wis. (WFRV) – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced on Friday it is investigating a contamination issue found in one of the ditches downstream of the JCI/Tyco Fire Technology Center in Marinette.
According to officials, on Thursday, the DNR was notified of a sheen on the surface water in Ditch B seen upstream from the treatment system used to control PFAS.
PFAS is considered to be a group of human-made chemicals used for decades in numerous products that have made their way into the environment in a variety of ways, including spills of PFAS-containing materials, discharges of PFAS-containing wastewater to treatment plants and certain types of firefighting foams.
After having conducted a site visit with JCI/Tyco to examine the sheen, the DNR says it was able to trace the sheen to an upstream residential area.
Officials say JCI/Tyco has deployed booms and absorbent padding and is in the process of cleaning up the area affected by the sheen who is reported to have a petroleum odor.
The DNR says at this time its chemical makeup is unknown.
JCI/Tyco reports it has temporarily paused its treatment system in Ditch B to not damage the filtration system.
The DNR says it will continue to work with JCI/Tyco on the cleanup effort to ensure the PFAS treatment system is restarted as soon as possible.
Tyco released a statement on Monday, saying:
On September 17, 2020, Tyco was informed there was visible oil in the water above our Ditch B treatment system. The source of the oil was not from our Marinette facility. We were able to identify that the oil came from a residential area in Ditch B upstream of our treatment facility. We swiftly stepped in to respond to the spill and lessen the impact of the oil in the water – deploying booms to capture as much of the oil as we could, as quickly as possible. We also paused our treatment system to prevent any damage to it. We then notified the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources of the oil in the water and our actions to step in to protect our neighbors from this contamination. Unfortunately, we were not able to identify the specific source of the oil from the residential area. The DNR is asking that any individuals that may have information regarding the sheen contact the DNR’s tip line: 1-800-TIP-WDNR.
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