Home A project of States Newsroom
Brief
Nessel’s PFAS suit against Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority returned to state court

Share

Nessel’s PFAS suit against Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority returned to state court

Dec 06, 2023 | 12:30 pm ET
By Kyle Davidson
Share
Nessel’s PFAS suit against Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority returned to state court
Description
Gerald R. Ford International Airport | Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority photo

The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan on Monday granted a motion to remand the state’s lawsuit against the Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority for PFAS contamination in nearby drinking water sources back to state court in the 17th Circuit Court in Kent County.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel sued the airport authority after repeated warnings and demands from the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy related to PFAS contamination. The state is seeking injunctive and declaratory relief, past and future remediation and monitoring costs, and damages for the loss and destruction of natural resources. 

“This case should have rightfully remained in State court as we’ve contended violations of State environmental and public health laws,” Nessel said in a statement on Wednesday. 

“I am grateful for the efforts of my department’s litigators to return this case to the proper State venue, where we will continue to pursue our claims against the Authority until a satisfactory result is reached that protects the public and the environment,” Nessel said. 

In her lawsuit, Nessel contends the airport authority is liable for the airport’s previous and known releases of PFAS-containing firefighting foams, as well as for violations of its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit. 

According to Nessel’s office, the releases have impacted nearby properties with the chemicals found in residential drinking water wells in neighboring Cascade Charter Township, as well as in streams and other groundwater downgradient of the Airport. The full extent of the PFAS emanating from the airport is unknown. 

“The Airport Authority has consistently refuted their responsibility to clean up their own mess, and that is why we are in court—to compel them to act responsibly and repair the harm they’ve inflicted on the State’s natural resources as well as their neighbors’ drinking water supply,” Nessel said. 

The Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority could not be reached for immediate comment.