Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were released into the environment from carbonless copy paper recycling operations at several area paper mills at the Allied Paper, Inc./Portage Creek/Kalamazoo River Superfund Site during the late 1950s through the early 1970s.
Counties of Allegan and Kalamazoo, Michigan.
NOAA and its co-trustee agencies are working closely with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, and responsible parties to coordinate cleanup and restoration strategies for the site. A Final Restoration Plan has been developed for Portage Creek and Allied Paper Landfill (OU1) portion of the Kalamazoo River Superfund site to restore the environment injured by PCBs released at OU1.
The site includes five disposal areas, five paper mill properties, a three-mile reach of Portage Creek in the city of Kalamazoo, and an approximately 80-mile stretch of the Kalamazoo River from Morrow Dam to Lake Michigan. PCBs have contaminated sediments, water resources, and biota in and adjacent to Portage Creek immediately upstream of its confluence with the Kalamazoo River. PCBs from the site have also contaminated approximately 80 miles of the Kalamazoo River, downstream to Lake Michigan. Cleanup efforts are ongoing.
The site was included on the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Priority List in 1990. Resources at risk include fishery resources and supporting habitat. A consumption advisory exists for all fish species in the affected area. NOAA is working to ensure that remediation activities for the river are protective of trust resources, and that appropriate restoration projects are selected. NOAA has helped develop a long-term monitoring program for the river, which will provide data to evaluate trends in PCB uptake and will establish a baseline for future monitoring of the effectiveness of the remedy.