Kalamazoo County, Richland Township, North 34th Street
Updated: April 21, 2020
The North 34th Street site includes the former location of Production Plated Plastics and is located in Richland Township in Kalamazoo County. In 1977, heavy metal contamination was discovered in groundwater samples that were collected from residential wells along North 34th Street. Investigations conducted by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) determined the source of the heavy metal contamination was a plastics plating company located on East D Avenue. Pursuant to court orders, the plastics plating company replaced the affected residential drinking water wells and undertook other response activities. In 1985, halogenated volatile organic compounds (HVOCs) were identified in the groundwater at the site. EGLE investigations determined the plastics plating company, as well as a laundry and dry-cleaning business located on North 34th Street, were the cause of the HVOC contamination. As such, the area-wide impacts were designated as the North 34th Street site.
In the 1980s, the plastics plating company completed work to install, operate, and maintain a groundwater cleanup system. In 1988, EGLE extended municipal water to the site to provide safe drinking water to the residents with contaminated drinking water wells. The EGLE has also performed work to determine the extent of HVOC contamination. The State sued the plating company; however, cost recovery was unsuccessful. In 1991, the EGLE took over operation and maintenance (O&M) of the groundwater cleanup system after the company went out of business. The property is now owned by the State of Michigan Land Bank. Since 1991, numerous cleanup efforts have been implemented—and continue to be implemented--to evaluate conditions and the effectiveness of the groundwater cleanup system.
EGLE, in coordination with its contractor, AECOM, is in the process of completing a remedial investigation to determine the nature and extent of PFAS impacts in the North 34th Street area.
- The workplan for the Incremental Sampling Method of the farm fields has been prepared and approved. However, ISM sampling of the soils in the farm field has been delayed.
- EGLE will continue to work on obtaining access and/or permits for future Remedial Investigation activities.
- EGLE will continue development of additional Remedial Investigation Workplan.
- EGLE will continue to respond to citizen inquiries and questions regarding the site.
Residential Well Testing/Alternate Water Information
- 78 households have been given filters from the Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services Department (KCHCSD).
- 45 households are being provided bottled water by KCHCSD.
- 1 household has been provided a water cooler by the KCHCSD.
- EGLE has completed a majority of the residential well sampling activities in the expanded study area along 35th St. and Greer Dr.
- For additional information on residential well testing and results, visit the Frequently Asked Questions.
Upcoming Community Engagement
Sampling: PFOS and PFOA Only
Type of Sample
Number of Samples
Number of Results Received
Number of Non-detects
Number of Detections Below Standard*
Number of Detections Above Standard*
|Drinking Water (Residential)
||Jun 27, 2018 -
Jul 3, 2019
||Oct 29, 2018 -
Apr 11, 2019
||Jul 3, 2019
||Oct 1, 2018
|Effluent (Pumping System)
||Apr 13, 2018 -
Nov 19, 2018
*Surface water and effluent results are compared to Rule 57 surface water quality values of 12 ppt for PFOS and 12,000 ppt for PFOA.
*Residential well results are compared to the USEPA Lifetime Health Advisory Level of 70 ppt PFOS+PFOA.
*Groundwater results are compared to EGLE Part 201 Criteria of 70 ppt PFOS+PFOA.
- Other PFAS analytes were detected in samples. There are no federal or state standards for these analytes.
- In March of 2018, the city of Kalamazoo informed EGLE that as part of a state-wide requirement to test publicly owned treatment works for PFAS the city was proactively collecting effluent samples from permitted discharges to the sanitary system.
- On April 13, 2018, effluent samples from the groundwater pumping system at the North 34th Street site were collected by the City’s consultant, Fleis & VandenBrink. EGLE’s consultant for the site, AECOM, also was present during the sampling to collect a sample for separate analysis.
- On May 15, 2018, the city of Kalamazoo notified AECOM of the results of the effluent sampling, which showed a result of 8,000 ppt PFOS.No other PFAS compounds were detected in the effluent sample.A duplicate sample of the effluent collected by the city detected 7,500 ppt PFOS.
- On May 30, 2018, EGLE received the results of the effluent sample collected by AECOM.The sampling results indicated the presence of PFOS at a concentration of 9,640 ppt, as well as other PFAS analytes at lower concentrations (non-detect to 39.7 ppt). These results were shared with the city of Kalamazoo, and state and local health departments.
- On May 31, 2018, the EGLE hosted a meeting with the city, state health department, and county health department to discuss the city’s sampling results and path moving forward.
- On June 26, 2018, EGLE received a cost estimate for installing a PFAS treatment system at the facility and identified funding and a timeline for implementing the treatment system by the end of July.
- On June 26, 2018, EGLE and AECOM staff collected residential well samples from four residences and one Type II well and expedited analysis of these samples. One of these samples was non-detect; 4 were greater than 70 ppt.
- On July 11th, 12th and 18th 2018, EGLE completed residential well sampling at 26 residences. Sampling results indicated 8 wells were non-detect; 10 wells were greater than non-detect but below 70 ppt; and, 8 wells were greater than 70 ppt.
- On July 18, 2018, EGLE held a townhall at the Living Hope Church to provide information and answer questions from Richland residents.
- On July 31, 2018, EGLE installed and made operational a groundwater treatment system for the existing groundwater pumping system. Testing of the system indicates it is in compliance with the discharge requirements for the city of Kalamazoo’s wastewater treatment system.
- Between August 12th and 20th, 2018, EGLE sampled 31 additional residential wells.Sampling results indicated 28 wells were non-detect; 2 wells were greater than non-detect but below 70 ppt; and, 1 well was greater than 70 ppt.
- Between November 5th, 2018 and January 31, 2019, EGLE has installed 12 remedial investigation nested monitoring wells sets in the study area.
- Between December 3rd and 28th, 2018, EGLE sampled 21 additional residential wells.Sampling results indicated 6 wells were non-detect; 12 wells were greater than non-detect but below 70 ppt; and, 3 wells were greater than 70 ppt.
- Based on monitoring well results received in January 2019, the residential well sampling area was expanded to the south, along 35th St and Greer Dr.
- In December 2018, EGLE sampled recently installed monitoring wells. Results of the sampling were received on December 31, 2018.
- In January 2019, EGLE approved the workplan for additional residential well sampling in the new expanded study area. Sampling was scheduled to occur the week of February 17, 2019.
- On February 22, 2019, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) completed the first phase of Remedial Investigation monitoring well installation activities on February 22, 2018.
- On March 29, 2019, sampling of the wells installed in February 2019 was completed.
- Between February 18 – 25, 2019, EGLE completed residential well sampling activities between in the new study area. 33 samples have been collected.
- On February 22, 2019, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) completed the first phase of Remedial Investigation monitoring well installation activities on February 22, 2019.
- On March 29, 2019, sampling of the wells installed in February 2019 was completed.
- Between February 18 - 25, 2019, EGLE has completed residential well sampling activities between February 18 and February 25 in the new study area. 33 samples have been collected.
- On April 11, 2019, Richland Township hosted a Town Hall meeting from 6:00pm-8:00pm to discuss water main extension activities. EGLE District staff gave an update of the investigation activities at this time. View the N 34th Street Update Meeting Presentation (pdf).
- On April 25, 2019, Sen. McCann hosted a Town Hall from 6:00pm – 7:00pm at the Parchment High School Auditorium, 1916 East G Ave., in Parchment. EGLE gave an update. This was not a state-hosted event.
- Surface water results have been received. Eight out of the 10 samples collected exceed the Groundwater-Surface water Interface (GSI) criteria for PFOS, which is 12 ppt. EGLE is working with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and MDARD on necessary future actions.
- During the week of May 13, 2019, ten surface water samples were collected from nine surface water bodies to be analyzed for PFAS.
- On June 12, 2019, EGLE staff gave a presentation regarding the Richland PFAS Response and Investigation at the American Institute of Petroleum Geologists (AIPG) conference.
- On June 26, 2019, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) sent a letter to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requesting assistance from both agencies on working with a farm near the North 34th Street site.
- On July 3, 2019, three additional surface water samples and five residential/agricultural wells were sampled.
- In August 2019 results were received for the surface water and residential well samples collected in July. All five well samples were ND for PFAS. Two out of the three surface water samples had PFOS concentrations above the GSI criteria.
- In October 2019, EGLE assisted MDARD and FDA with the collection of crop tissue and feed samples from the farm which utilizes PFAS contaminated surface water for irrigation.