Crown Vantage Property, Parchment, Kalamazoo County
Updated: March 28, 2019
The Crown Vantage Property encompasses a former Type II and III landfill historically utilized for disposal of papermaking waste, a historic wastewater treatment plant, former settling lagoons, and the former mill property. The property is suspected of being a source for PFAS that was detected in the City of Parchment’s municipal water system and nearby residential water wells.
- Phase II investigation activities continued with the installation of additional monitoring wells. The sampling of these new wells began on February 13, 2019 and was completed on March 8, 2019. The MDEQ split samples with Georgia-Pacific.
- MDEQ will continue to provide oversight for Georgia-Pacific’s hydrogeological investigation.
- A report summarizing the hydrogeological investigation activities will be prepared by Georgia-Pacific and submitted to the MDEQ for review by the end of April 2019.
- MDEQ will continue weekly update calls with local officials and separate update calls with Georgia-Pacific and its consultant.
- Weekly press releases updating the project will be issued by the Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services Department (KCHCSD).
Residential Well Testing/Alternate Water Information
- 601 households have been given water coolers by the KCHCSD.
- 322 households have been given filters by KCHCSD.
- 2 households are being provided bottled water by KCHCSD.
- For additional information on residential well testing and results, visit the Frequently Asked Questions.
- The MDEQ has sampled all municipal water supplies for PFAS. The city of Parchment purchases water from the city of Kalamazoo. View the results for the city of Kalamazoo.
Upcoming Community Engagement
- April 9, 2019 - Cooper Township will be holding a public meeting regarding the water line extension and replacement activities.
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 Greater Than Standard*
|Aug 1, 2018 -
Mar 28, 2019
*Groundwater results are compared to the MDEQ 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.
- Residential well sampling was done as a part of the Parchment Water Response to determine any impacts to nearby residential water wells. Results indicated some impacts to wells at concentrations exceeding the USEPA’s Lifetime Health Advisory.
Crown Vantage Property Historical Timeline
On July 26, 2018, the MDEQ received results showing high levels of PFAS compounds in the City of Parchment’s municipal water supply. The municipal supply had been sampled on June 18, 2018 as part of the MDEQ’s statewide sampling initiative for public water supplies and schools on their own wells. The three water supply wells served over 1,200 customers and 3,100 people in the City of Parchment and Cooper Township. A “Do Not Drink” advisory was immediately issued, a state of emergency was called, and within a month the City of Parchment had connected to the City of Kalamazoo’s water supply and was able to lift the “Do Not Drink” advisory. For more information, visit the Parchment Municipal Supply Response.
The MDEQ immediately began testing private residential wells in the area. Some of the private wells were found to contain high levels of PFAS. Alternate water sources were obtained while local and state officials worked to ensure the health of the public. The MDEQ also immediately began an investigation into the source of the contamination, locating several potential sources in the area.
As part of the source investigation, the MDEQ began testing existing monitoring wells at the former Crown Vantage landfill and mill site. Results from this testing showed high levels of PFAS in the groundwater. The former Crown Vantage Property is north of the City of Parchment and is immediately adjacent to the Kalamazoo River. The former landfill was used to dump paper-making waste associated with the Crown Vantage Papermill. Over the years, the mill used an oil and grease repellant as an additive to laminated paper products. The mill was closed in November of 2000 and is currently owned by Cooper Township.
In September of 2018, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) was contacted by Georgia-Pacific, LLC (GP) to propose committing resources to the ongoing investigation related to potential PFAS sources that have impacted the city of Parchment’s water supply and private drinking water wells in Cooper Township. The former paper mill property and associated landfill are suspected of being sources of the contamination but may not be the only sources in the area. The MDEQ continues to investigate potential sources.
Part 201 of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act governs the State’s responses to contamination. It allows private parties to conduct response actions for many reasons, including liability for the contamination, a desire to market or redevelop a property, or for no defined reason at all. Parties known to have responsibility for contamination are required to conduct cleanup activities unless they are financially insolvent.
Below is a timeline of activities regarding the investigation of this property:
- On August 1 and 2, 2018, the MDEQ began taking samples at this location to narrow in on the source of the groundwater contamination in Parchments municipal wells.
- Additional groundwater samples were collected on August 14 and 15, 2018.
- In total as of October 2, 2018, MDEQ has taken 25 groundwater samples around the former landfill, former wastewater treatment plant, and the former mill property.
- Nearby residential wells have been sampled as part of the Parchment Water Response investigation.Point-of-use filters and/or alternate water have been given to residents within and near the current study area.
- There is a fish advisory already in effect for the Kalamazoo River due to historic impacts from paper mills in the area (specifically related to PCBs).
- In an October 1, 2018 letter to the MDEQ, Georgia-Pacific LLC voluntarily agreed to do the following:
- Develop a workplan with the MDEQs assistance that identifies monitoring well locations and depths, sampling procedures and analytical methodology.
- Install monitoring wells in accordance with the workplan.
- Measure water levels in the monitoring wells.
- Collect and analyze groundwater samples in accordance with the workplan.
- Provide all data to the MDEQ along with tables and figures to summarize results.
- Install additional monitoring wells and collect additional groundwater samples as needed to understand and define the extent of contamination as well as the sources of PFAS impacting private and public water supplies.
- Provide the MDEQ with a report on the information obtained through the workplan.
- All of the above listed work will be conducted at Georgia-Pacific’s expense, under the MDEQs supervision. The MDEQ may elect to undertake additional field activities to further protect public health and the environment.
- On October 21, 2018, Georgia-Pacific submitted a Draft Hydrogeologic Investigation Work Plan (Work Plan) for MDEQ review and approval.Approval of the Work Plan was transmitted to Georgia-Pacific on October 31, 2018.
- On November 12, 2018, Georgia-Pacific and its consultant, Tetra Tech, began field work associated with the approved Work Plan.
- The MDEQ will also continue to oversee the successful transition of city of Parchment water to a new system and the local and state health departments will continue to work with the community to provide point-of-use filters and/or alternative water, where needed.
- On December 12, 2018, Georgia-Pacific completed the installation of 15 monitoring wells as part of the approved Phase I investigation.
- On December 11-13, 2018, sampling of the new wells was completed.
- On December 19, 2018, Georgia-Pacific submitted a Draft Hydrogeologic Investigation Phase II Work Plan Addendum (Work Plan) for MDEQ review and approval.
- On January 8-9, 2019 the MDEQ split samples from each of the sampled wells (15 total).
- On January 4, 2019, the MDEQ transmitted approval of the December 19, 2019 Draft Hydrogeologic Investigation Phase II Work Plan Addendum (Work Plan) to Georgia-Pacific.