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EPA adds the Allied Paper Inc. Superfund site in Kalamazoo, Mich. to the Acting Administrator’s Superfund Emphasis List

11/20/2018
Contact Information: 
Rachel Bassler (bassler.rachel@epa.gov)
312-886-7159

For Immediate Release: No. 18-OPA069

CHICAGO (Nov. 20, 2018) – Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its third revision to the Administrator’s Emphasis List of Superfund Sites Targeted for Immediate, Intense Action (Administrator’s Emphasis List). EPA is placing the Allied Paper, Inc./Portage Creek/Kalamazoo River Superfund site back on the list with a focus on entering into agreements with potentially responsible parties to complete cleanup of the site. With this update, there are a total of 16 Superfund sites on the list, and a total of 11 sites have been removed from the Administrator’s Emphasis List since December 2017 because the short-term milestones were achieved. 

“The Allied Paper Superfund site was one of my first visits when I joined EPA Region 5 earlier this year,” said EPA Regional Administrator Cathy Stepp. “The acting administrator and I recognize how important it is to complete this vast cleanup and we have both pledged to pick up the pace. This Administration is committed to cleaning up and restoring contaminated sites so they can be put back to productive use in the community.”

EPA divided the Allied Paper Inc. Superfund site, which spans Allegan and Kalamazoo Counties, into five areas for cleanup. PCB contamination was extensive in soil, sediment, landfills, and paper mill properties as well as in 80-mile of the Kalamazoo River, adjacent riverbanks, contiguous floodplains, and a 3-mile stretch of Portage Creek. To date, cleanups have been completed in three areas where maintenance and groundwater monitoring are now underway.

EPA is committed to continuously looking at ways to improve the management of the Administrator’s Emphasis List. With this update and going forward EPA is now considering sites for the list based on one or more of the following criteria: 

  • Sites where the Administrator’s attention may help to enhance human health and environmental protection, promote more timely resolution of issues, advance more effective cleanup, or promote redevelopment opportunities;
  • Sites in diverse geographical areas and in various environmental settings;
  • Sites that are addressing different contaminants;
  • Both Fund and potentially responsible party lead sites; and
  • Sites that are representative of other sites, which can provide lessons learned and best practices for similar sites.  

Under the Trump Administration, the Superfund program has reemerged as a priority to fulfill the Agency’s core mission of protecting human health and the environment. 

Background

EPA established the Administrator’s Emphasis List in December 2017 in response to recommendations from EPA’s Superfund Task Force. The list is comprised of sites identified by Acting Administrator Wheeler and EPA regional offices that will benefit from the Administrator’s immediate attention or action. The list is updated quarterly with sites moving on and off the list as needed. 

Each site on the Administrator’s Emphasis List has a short-term milestone to provide the basis for tracking progress at the site. EPA will consider removing a site from the list once the milestone is achieved. Removal from the Administrator’s Emphasis List does not change the site’s status on the National Priorities List.   

While EPA continues to use the list to facilitate progress in the near term by resolving site-specific issues, the Agency also intends to spotlight sites using collaborative or innovative approaches (e.g., new technologies, adaptive management, collaborative partnerships) that could be replicated at other sites across the country. 

EPA remains dedicated to addressing risks at all Superfund sites, not just those on the Administrator’s Emphasis List. The Superfund Task Force Recommendations are aimed at expediting cleanup at all Superfund sites. EPA continues to accelerate progress at Superfund sites across the country.

The updated Administrator’s Emphasis List is available on the Agency’s website at: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/superfund-sites-targeted-immediate-intense-action.

The latest information on the work of the Superfund Task Force is available at: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/superfund-task-force-recommendations-2018-update.

For information on the Allied Paper Co. site: http://www.epa.gov/superfund/allied-paper-kalamazoo.
 

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Superfund Task Force. In May 2017 EPA established a task force to restore the Superfund program to its rightful place at the center of the Agency's core mission to protect health and the environment. epa.gov/superfund/superfund-task-force.