Health Care, Manufacturing, and Sustainability

Man finds another tannery dump site

October 17, 2017
| By AP |
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Editor's note: The original version of this article incorrectly described the dump sites as illegal.

Another leather tannery waste dump site has been found in suburban Grand Rapids, prompting worries that chemical-laced debris may be in a wider area than previously known.

Tedd Ryfiak, who lives near a former Wolverine Worldwide dump site in the Belmont area, said he's found waste, including two rusty metal drums on his property, and he's concerned there may be more.

Rockford-based Wolverine Worldwide, a maker of footwear and apparel, said yesterday that it wasn't aware of the waste at Ryfiak's property, but the company would remove it.

The waste is in addition to two already-known dump sites in the area.

Waste sludge from a tannery was dumped into unlined trenches and lagoons during the 1960s.

The waste is blamed for high levels of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, in area groundwater.

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