PFAS/Clean Water Act Enforcement: Michigan Attorney General Files Judicial Action Against Grand Rapids Airport for Alleged Contamination

Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard, P.L.L.C.

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The Michigan Attorney General (“AG”) filed a September 11th lawsuit in the Kent County 17th Judicial Circuit against the Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority (“Airport Authority”) in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The alleged basis for the lawsuit is stated to involve:

. . . PFAS releases into the below-ground water supply.

PFAS consist of a large group of man-made chemicals that include perfluorooctanoic acid, perfluorooctane sulfonate, and Gen X chemicals.

PFAS have been used in various industrial applications and in consumer products such as:

  • Fabrics for furniture
  • Paper packaging for food and other materials resistant to water, grease, or stains
  • Utilization in a number of industrial processes

Of relevance here is their use in firefighting at airports.

PFAS have been described as persistent in the environment and resist degradation.

Potential human exposure to PFAS includes pathways through drinking water, air, or food.

The AG’s news release states that the lawsuit contends the Airport Authority is liable for its previous and known releases of PFAS-containing firefighting material known as aqueous film-forming foams, pursuant to:

  • Part 201 (Environmental Remediation) of the Michigan Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act
  • Violations of its National pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit

The alleged PFAS releases are stated to have impacted nearby properties and been discovered in residential drinking water wells in Cascade Charter Township, as well as in streams and other groundwater downgradient of the Airport.

The lawsuit seeks injunctive and declaratory relief, past and future remediation and monitoring costs, and damages for the loss and destruction of natural resources.

A copy of the AG’s news release can be downloaded here.

Written by:

Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard, P.L.L.C.

Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard, P.L.L.C. on:

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