West Michigan Congressman Fred Upton says PCB contamination does not belong in Kalamazoo’s Allied Paper Landfill. The Saint Joseph Republican and Michigan’s two U.S. senators sent the Environmental Protection Agency a letter last week. It asked the agency to approve “total removal” of contamination at the site on Kalamazoo’s east side.
EPA officials have indicated they may decide to leave it there instead, saying it could be safely contained. City officials, environmental groups, and area residents plan to protest that proposal Wednesday afternoon during a march and rally near the landfill. They say all of the toxic material should be taken out of the landfill and moved to a facility qualified to handle it. Kalamazoo officials say that the actual cost of removal would be much lower than estimates by the EPA.
In 2008, Upton was involved in a successful effort to head off dumping of PCB-contaminated sediment from the Kalamazoo River in Plainwell at the Allied Paper site. It was taken to a special disposal site near Detroit instead.(P)