Kalamazoo County, Kalamazoo, Nolichucky Industrial Corp.

Updated: December 11, 2019

PFAS in Groundwater and Surface Water 2019 - NolichuckyBackground

This site is located at 2305 King Highway and is 4.89 acres in size. It is located within a former Georgia-Pacific Corporation’s (GP) property and operated as a paper manufacturer. It is on the Kalamazoo River and downgradient from a former paper mill. It is surrounded on all sides by a Part 201 / former USEPA Superfund Site. PFAS was added to the list of contaminants already being tested for due to the nature of the former operations at the site.

Recent Accomplishments

  • EGLE has added this site to the N. 34th Street and Crown Vantage weekly update meetings.
  • During the week of September 16, 2019, EGLE completed additional groundwater investigation.
  • In early November 2019, EGLE received and evaluated the analytical results from the September 2019 additional groundwater investigation.  Results are reflected on the sampling chart.

Next Steps

  • Engage with the liable party regarding the offsite groundwater contamination.
  • Coordination on the investigation will continue between EGLE, MDHHS, the city of Kalamazoo, and Kalamazoo County Health Department.

Residential Well Testing/Alternate Water Information

Upcoming Community Engagement

  • None scheduled at this time.
Sampling: PFOS and PFOA Only

Type of Sample

Date Sampled

# of Samples

# of Results Received

# of Non-detects

# Between Non-detect and standard*

# > Standard

Groundwater

Apr 2019 - Present 44 44 2 33 10
Surface Water Aug 22, 2019 4 4 2 2 0

Cumulative

  48 48 4 35 10

*Groundwater results are compared to EGLE Part 201 Criteria of 70 ppt PFOS+PFOA.
*Surface water samples are compared to Rule 57 non-drinking water values of 12 ppt for PFOS and 12,000 ppt for PFOA.


Sampling notes

  • Other PFAS analytes were detected in samples. There are no federal or state standards for these analytes.

Nolichucky Industrial Corp. Historical Timeline

This site is a 4.89-acre area located within a former Georgia-Pacific Corporation’s (GP) property. The site is currently owned by Kalamazoo Charter Township. In the late 1800’s, this site was developed to manufacture paper. Various paper manufacturing operations were conducted on the property until the late 1980s when production activities stopped, and the property was abandoned.

The Charter Township of Kalamazoo acquired the property through tax reversion and requested assistance from EGLE to demolish dangerous buildings and remediate contaminated soil and groundwater. Nolichucky has been a state-funded site since 2001, and has conducted building demolition, environmental assessments, remedial investigations, and more recently, a pilot study to treat soil for contaminants other than PFAS. Due to the nature of the former operations at the site and being surrounded on all four sides by a former Superfund Site which was a GP paper mill, PFAS was added to the list of parameters to be sampled for.

It is located on the Kalamazoo River’s west bank and is downgradient from a former GP mill. Groundwater flow is to the southwest directly to the Kalamazoo River.

This site is within a city of Kalamazoo Wellhead Protection Area. The nearest city of Kalamazoo Wellfield is Station 5, which is currently in operation, however, Station 5’s entry point (where the groundwater enters the treatment system) was sampled by EGLE on June 15, 2018, and results were 2 ppt PFOS+PFOA and 6 ppt Total Tested PFAS. It is important to note that the wellfield is upgradient from the Nolichucky site.

  • On April 12 and 13, 2019, EGLE collected 12 groundwater monitoring well samples from the south portion of the property.
  • On May 7, 2019, EGLE received the results from the April groundwater sampling event. The highest result was 329.1 ppt PFOS+PFOA, and 360.83 ppt Total Tested PFAS.
  • On June 5, 2019, EGLE hosted a conference call with MDHHS, the city of Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo Charter Township, and the Kalamazoo County Department of Health to discuss the proposed investigation and discuss how the site may be impacting the city well field.
  • On June 20, 2019, the current owner of the property granted EGLE access to the Former GP property.
  • In mid-August 2019, a file review for the former GP Mill Property was completed and groundwater sample locations were proposed. The file review for the former GP Mill Property was used to help identify potential source areas that could be attributing to the contamination along and outside of the Nolichucky Site property boundaries.
  • On August 22, 2019, EGLE collected four surface water samples from the adjacent Kalamazoo River. Results are expected in late September to early October.
  • On August 28, 2019, EGLE met with the City of Kalamazoo to discuss the City’s plans for adding PFAS treatment to Pumping Station 5.
  • On September 16, 2019, EGLE received surface water results from the laboratory. Samples were collected from the Kalamazoo River, adjacent to the Nolichucky Site.