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Menasha Paper Mill (former) (Otsego, Allegan County)
Web content may not routinely be updated on this page. Please contact the Site Lead for the most up-to-date status of the site.
Content posted May 2023.
EGLE Site Lead
Ray Spaulding, SpauldingR1@Michigan.gov or 517-290-2401.
The former Menasha Paper Mill site is located at 320 North Farmer Road in Otsego and operated as a paper mill by Menasha Corporation (Menasha) from 1939 to August 2005. Menasha’s operations consisted of kraft pulping, fiber reclamation from old, corrugated cardboard, and paper making processes. Menasha manufactured food-grade corrugating medium at the mill. Due to PFAS contamination at the former Menasha Landfill located on the adjacent property to the northeast, EGLE expanded the investigation onto the paper mill property.
In July 2022, EGLE collected 20 groundwater samples from monitoring wells and production wells at the former Menasha Paper Mill. Soil samples were also collected from the former aeration lagoon and a former spent liquor lagoon. EGLE received the groundwater sample results in August 2022. The highest groundwater results were 723 ppt PFOA (compared to 8 ppt), 511 ppt PFOS (compared to 16 ppt), and 34.8 ppt PFNA (compared to 6 ppt).
Groundwater flow direction is to the south-southwest at the site. The Kalamazoo River is located immediately to the south and eventually empties into Lake Michigan.
Drinking Water Information
The City of Otsego is serviced by municipal water. In the 1970s municipal water was extended to several houses located in the immediate vicinity of the paper mill due to contamination.
EGLE, DHHS, and local health staff coordinated on residential well sampling throughout the Otsego area. Several residential wells located proximal to the paper mill and landfill have been tested as part of the Otsego Area Study and the results are listed on that page. No additional residential drinking water wells are proposed for sampling related to the paper mill investigation.
EGLE is reviewing data collected in July 2022, and will determine next steps.