Work to start in June at former Allied Paper Landfill in Kalamazoo, Michigan, as part of EPA’s Superfund cleanup of Kalamazoo River
Federal, state and city officials will provide updates, answer questions at May 24 virtual public meeting
CHICAGO (May 19, 2021) – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced that work will begin in June to clean up polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, at the former Allied Paper Landfill in Kalamazoo, Michigan, part of the Allied Paper Inc./Portage Creek/Kalamazoo River Superfund site. The current property owner, the Lyondell Environmental Custodial Trust, will conduct the cleanup under EPA’s supervision. The work involves consolidating and capping contaminated soil and installing a groundwater monitoring system at the site and is expected to take four years.
“EPA looks forward to the day when this old landfill site is transformed and potentially available for productive reuse in Kalamazoo,” said acting EPA Region 5 Administrator Cheryl Newton. “This cleanup is another important milestone in EPA’s extraordinary effort to restore the health and vitality of the Kalamazoo River system after decades of pollution from papermill operations.”
“Cleaning up the Allied Paper site and restoring it to productive use has been one of my top priorities for years, and it is absolutely necessary for the well-being of our community,” said Rep. Fred Upton. “Today’s announcement is one we have all been eagerly waiting to hear for years. This is certainly encouraging news for our state and our environment.”
“This work marks an important phase of the remediation of the Allied Paper Landfill, which will address contamination at the site, help lead to a vibrant economy through planned reuse and redevelopment, and ultimately protect the environment and health of Michiganders,” said Liesl Clark, director of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy.
“I am excited that after many years of advocacy, the cleanup of the former Allied Paper landfill is ready to begin,” said Kalamazoo Mayor David Anderson. “This project will protect our neighborhoods, protect our drinking water, and eventually reopen the site as a community asset. I appreciate our partners at the U.S. EPA and EGLE, and I’m especially grateful for the many dedicated Kalamazoo residents whose years of tireless advocacy helped make this cleanup possible.”
Historically, paper mills and landfills located along the Kalamazoo River and Portage Creek discharged PCB-laden waste and other contaminants into the waterways. Allied Paper built its landfill adjacent to the creek to dispose carbonless copy paper contaminated with PCBs. EPA added the site to the Superfund National Priorities List in 1990.
PCBs are a group of man-made organic chemicals that are known as chlorinated hydrocarbons. PCBs were domestically manufactured from 1929 until they were banned in 1979. PCBs do not readily break down in the environment and can bioaccumulate.
On Monday, May 24, EPA, together with EGLE and the city of Kalamazoo, will participate in a virtual public meeting to discuss the upcoming cleanup and answer questions from residents. The meeting will be recorded and available for viewing on the city of Kalamazoo’s Facebook page and YouTube Channel after the livestream. Community members can submit questions before the meeting via:
- Email: email@example.com.
- Post on the Facebook event page.
- Call: 269-226-6573 and leaving a message starting at noon on May 24.
- Submit questions during the virtual public meeting.
Details on the virtual meeting are below:
When: Monday, May 24
Time: 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
To join: Livestreamed:
City of Kalamazoo’s Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/kalamazoocity, and YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIgXSSXLSDxThVaaiRMsR5Q
For more information visit: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/allied-paper-kalamazoo.