DNR Evaluating Fish Tissue Sampling Data Submitted by JCI/Tyco

Under the direction of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Johnson Controls, Inc. (JCI) and its subsidiary Tyco Fire Products, LP (Tyco) conducted fish tissue sampling as part of ongoing PFAS investigations in the Marinette and Peshtigo area.  JCI/Tyco collected fish from three private ponds located to the south and east of the JCI/Tyco Fire Technology Center in Marinette. The fish tissue samples were analyzed for 36 PFAS compounds.

The DNR received analytical sample results from JCI/Tyco on Wednesday October 7, 2020 and is currently reviewing the data. At this time the DNR has the following information:

  • Preliminary review of the data indicates that there may be elevated levels of PFOS in some of the fish tissue samples; however, due to challenges during the laboratory analysis, JCI/Tyco indicated that the results for many of the samples are inconclusive. JCI/Tyco provided the fish tissue samples to an alternate laboratory for further analysis; results are expected in early November.
  • The DNR and the Department of Health Services (DHS) only issue formal fish consumption advisories for water bodies accessible to the public. Because the samples were collected from ponds on private properties, DNR has communicated directly to property owners about the meaning of the test results. Properties owners are aware that they may also speak with DHS regarding the meaning of test results from a health perspective and any health-protective recommendations indicated.
  • To obtain a more complete picture of the impacts to fish in Marinette and Peshtigo, the DNR informed JCI/Tyco that they are required to collect additional fish tissue samples from both private and public waterways in Marinette and Peshtigo. This includes collection of samples in “Ditch B,” located near the Fire Technology Center.
  • Information from additional sampling will be utilized by the DNR and DHS to inform any fish consumption advisory for fish harvested from public waterways in the area.
  • The data also assists with moving towards completing the site investigation for the FTC site.

The data submitted by JCI/Tyco include results taken from edible bottom-feeding fish, such as catfish; panfish, such as perch and bluegill sunfish; and from predator species, including largemouth and smallmouth bass.

The sampling was conducted to evaluate whether PFAS are present in the tissue of edible-size fish, and to assess the nature, extent of, and potential impacts of the area-wide contamination to fish.

PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are a group of human-made chemicals used for decades in numerous products, including non-stick cookware, fast food wrappers, stain-resistant sprays and certain types of firefighting foam. These contaminants 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.

PFAS contamination has been detected in the Marinette, Peshtigo and surrounding communities in soil, sediment, groundwater, surface water, private drinking water wells and biosolids. Under the oversight of the DNR, JCI and Tyco Fire Products have been identified as responsible parties and have been directed by the DNR to conduct investigations into areas impacted by PFAS contamination in the Marinette and Peshtigo area due to their companies' operations.

The DNR continues close coordination on these matters with JCI/Tyco and is monitoring their progress to investigate and address PFAS contamination in the area.

More information regarding PFAS contamination in the Marinette and Peshtigo area is available on the DNR's Marinette and Peshtigo PFAS web page. General information about potential PFAS health effects are available on the DHS PFAS Webpage.

If you have questions, please contact the DNR at DNRJCIPFAS@wisconsin.govor by calling 1-888-626-3244.