A judge has given tentative approval in a $54 million settlement involving Wolverine Worldwide and 3M Co. related to a class action lawsuit over PFAS chemicals that contaminated drinking water in western Michigan. The chemicals from a since-closed tannery were discovered five years ago.

The class-action suit involves approximately 1,700 properties north of Grand Rapids, according to the Associated Press.

Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl chemicals (PFAS) were long used in industrial applications, but do not easily break down and can migrate from the soil into the groundwater.

PFAS were used to make Scotchgard, a 3M waterproofing product used by Wolverine.

“The settlement is fair, reasonable, adequate, and meets the standards for preliminary approval,” U.S. District Judge Hala Jarbou said last week, setting a final fairness hearing for March 29, according to the report.

In a statement, Wolverine said it and 3M “are pleased to have settled this lawsuit and believe this settlement represents another important step towards resolving this matter and doing the right thing for our community.”

3M directed inquiries to an online statement in which it stated the company “remains committed to working collaboratively with communities and sharing our scientific knowledge on PFAS to achieve our common goals.”
Photo: Wolverine World Wide dumpsite contamination in Belmont, MI.
Courtesy courtesy mlive.com