ROCKFORD, Mich. — A footwear manufacturer that’s working to clean up dump sites in western Michigan says it expects to spend $40 million addressing groundwater issues.

Wolverine World Wide said Thursday it expects to spend as much as $35 million for ongoing testing and monitoring of groundwater and providing bottled drinking water and water filter systems for people affected by groundwater problems. It says the remaining estimated costs are associated with consulting and other expenses this year.

The company used chemicals at its former tannery in Rockford to waterproof leather for shoes.

Wolverine, however, says it doesn’t believe the contamination is responsible for reports of elevated lead levels in water. A law firm representing about 250 clients affected by contamination says two clients’ properties have high lead levels.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.