pcbs

Ryan Dy of Holland (right) and Tom Fik of Allegan (left) fishing at Allegan Dam
Rebecca Thiele, WMUK

People aren’t supposed to eat the fish out of the Kalamazoo River, but many still do. Fish in the river are contaminated with PCBs - the toxin leftover from Kalamazoo’s old paper mills. Eating the fish over time could cause cancer, birth defects, neurological issues, and other health problems. Decades ago the state put up signs warning people of the risks that come with eating the fish, but those signs aren’t reaching everyone.


File photo: Kalamazoo City Commissioner Don Cooney and Kalamazoo residents march to protest capping the Allied Paper Landfill, May 2013.
WMUK

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will decide on the final cleanup plan for the Allied Paper Landfill site soon. But the City of Kalamazoo is still weighing its options. The city has been in talks with BioPath Solutions - a company that breaks down PCB waste with microbes. BioPath says the treatment would cost at least $15 million less than the EPA’s proposed plan. But the question remains - will it work?


WMUK

The Executive Director of the Kalamazoo River Cleanup Coalition says public input is an important part of the process in cleaning up a federal Superfund site. 


The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a plan to clean PCBs out of a 3-mile stretch of the Kalamazoo River. It would remove contaminated soil and sediment from Morrow Dam near Comstock to the city of Plainwell. The EPA would also take more PCBs out of Portage Creek. 

The EPA's current plan for Allied Paper Landfill
courtesy photo

After a year of talks with the City of Kalamazoo, the Environmental Protection Agency has agreed to consider another alternative for the Allied Paper Landfill. At a public meeting last night, the EPA and the city presented one of their collaborative plans. 

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