Superfund Site Profile












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March 2017 Update

Kalamazoo River Cleanup Progress
In September 2015, EPA signed a document called the "record of decision" for Area 1 of the river. (Area 1 is the portion of the Kalamazoo River between Morrow Dam and the former Plainwell Dam, and includes Portage Creek between Cork Street and the Kalamazoo River.) The cleanup for Area 1 includes excavation of PCB-contaminated hot spots in a 2-mile section of the Kalamazoo River near the confluence of Portage Creek, and floodplain soil removal in the Plainwell Impoundment near the former Plainwell Dam Work should start in 2018. On December 21, 2016 EPA issued a Unilateral Administrative Order to Georgia-Pacific, International Paper and Weyerhaeuser to conduct the work specified in the ROD.          

In February 2016, EPA approved the Area 3 site investigation report. This report also shows high levels of PCB-contamination in soil and sediment. (Area 3 is the Kalamazoo River between the Otsego City Dam and the Otsego Township Dam.) In June 2016, Georgia-Pacific submitted the Alternative Screening Technical Memorandum, which evaluates various technologies that may be available to manage contamination in this area.  In January 2017, EPA provided comments on the ASTM document, and the Area 2 Feasibility Study report, which evaluates cleanup alternatives, is due to EPA on October 2, 2017.   In August 2016, work began on a Time-Critical Removal Action in the Kalamazoo River upstream of the Otsego Township dam and the M-89 bridge (see Otsego Township Dam - Time-Critical Removal update below).

Georgia-Pacific submitted the draft Area 4 site investigation report in September 2017. This document shows where and how soil and sediment sampling was conducted in Area 4 of the river. (Area 4 is the Kalamazoo River between the Otsego Township Dam and Trowbridge Dam.) This document is currently being reviewed by EPA.

In November 2016, Georgia-Pacific submitted the work plan for the investigation of Area 5 (Area 5 is the Kalamazoo River between the Trowbridge Dam and Allegan City Dam.) This officially started the Area 5 investigation.  Field investigations will begin in 2017.

March 8, 2017 Public Meeting Presentation and Handout

 Allied Paper Landfill Update
EPA has been working with the bankruptcy Trustee for Allied Landfill to implement the remedial design for the remedy selected in the September 21, 2016 Record of Decision. The remedy includes consolidation and capping of the waste into a 27-acre area and long-term groundwater monitoring.

Otsego Township Dam - Time-Critical Removal

Dredging work started in August 2016 in the first "Bank Removal and Stabilization Area" (BRSA) near the Pine Creek dam. Nearly 3000 feet of riverbank was cleaned up with the removal of over 7000 tons of PCB-contaminated soils and sediments. Over the winter months, land clearing and staging area and access road construction will occur to prepare for cleanup along three additional BRSAs to be addressed in early 2017. Planning for the remaining BRSAs and removal of the temporary water control structure is underway with the expected completion of the project by mid-2018.

Plainwell Mill Update
EPA signed a record of decision for the former Plainwell Paper Mill in September 2015. The selected cleanup plan requires the excavation and off-site disposal of contaminated soil from the former mill site. The Remedial Design Work Plan and Pre-Design Investigation Work Plan were finalized in September, and the Pre-Design Investigation Report is expected to be submitted to EPA in Spring 2017.


The Allied Paper Inc./Portage Creek/Kalamazoo River Superfund Site is located in Allegan and Kalamazoo Counties, Michigan. The site includes soil and sediment contamination in disposal areas, paper mill properties, about 80 miles of the Kalamazoo River (from Morrow Dam to Lake Michigan), adjacent riverbanks and contiguous floodplains, as well as a 3-mile stretch of Portage Creek. EPA has identified six areas, or operable units (OUs), requiring cleanup. Cleanup has taken place at three of the six areas; operation and maintenance activities and groundwater monitoring are ongoing at these locations. Final cleanup decisions have not been made at the remaining three OUs.  However, several interim cleanup actions have been conducted. 

At this time, the site is divided into six cleanup projects known as operable units (OUs):

  • OU #1, Allied Paper Property/Bryant Mill Pond Area;
  • OU #2, Willow Boulevard and A-Site Landfill;
  • OU #3, King Highway Landfill;
  • OU #4, 12th Street Landfill;
  • OU #5, Portage Creek and Kalamazoo River sediments; and
  • OU #7, Plainwell Mill.