Skip to main content

Allied Paper, Inc./Portage Creek/Kalamazoo River Superfund Site, Allied Paper Landfill (OU1) (Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo County)

EGLE Site Lead: Daniel Peabody, PeabodyD@Michigan.gov or (517) 285-3924. Webpage last updated September 2, 2020.

Background

This site is approximately 89 acres in size and located at 268 East Alcott in the city of Kalamazoo. An estimated 1.6 million cubic yards of contaminated waste is present at the site. The site is a U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lead.  A Record of Decision--which is a document that explains the remediation for cleanup at a Superfund site--was signed by EPA in September 2016.  The selected remedy includes excavation of contaminated materials and consolidating and capping those materials at the site. Investigation and remedial activities are completed by a trust (Trust) following bankruptcy of Lyondell Basell, and remedial design is currently underway. A “Do Not Eat” fish advisory is currently in effect for Portage Creek due to the presence of PCBs in fish.

In May and June 2018, the city of Kalamazoo collected three effluent samples from the groundwater recovery and extraction system as required by the Industrial Pretreatment Program.  PFAS in the effluent was 38 ppt PFOS, which exceeds water quality standards.  A memo provided by EPA to the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) suggested that PFAS was used on the site.  EPA requested that additional sampling be done on the site. Additional information is available on the U.S EPA Allied Paper, Inc./Portage Creek/Kalamazoo River Superfund Site webpage.

Shallow groundwater discharges radially toward Portage Creek, which borders the site to the east. A strong upward gradient is present at the site, potentially limiting the flow of contaminants into the deeper regional aquifer. Type 1 water wells operated by the city of Kalamazoo are located approximately 0.7-miles north of the landfill. The nearest private drinking water wells are located approximately 2.4-miles northwest of the landfill.

Allied Paper, Inc. Portage Creek Kalamazoo River Superfund Site, Allied Paper Landfill (OU1) Map

Recent Accomplishments

  • In November and December 2018, the Trust, on-behalf of EPA, collected 12 samples from groundwater extractions wells and sumps around the site.  On June 26, 2019, EGLE received results for the samples collected in November and December 2018. The highest PFOS+PFOA sample result of 1,834 ppt was collected from a sump in the southern portion of the site adjacent to Portage Creek.
  • On April 26, 2019, the Trust, on-behalf of EPA, collected 21 samples from groundwater seeps adjacent to Portage Creek and monitor wells throughout the site.  On July 16, 2019, EGLE received results for the samples collected in April 2019. The highest PFOS+PFOA sample result of 1,250 ppt was collected from a monitoring well in the southeast portion of the site.
  • In October 2019, the Trust, on-behalf of EPA, collected 13 surface water samples from Portage Creek upgradient and downgradient of the site and 46 samples of soils and paper residuals from locations throughout the site. On February 18, 2020, EGLE received results for the samples collected in October 2019.  The highest PFOS sample result in surface water of 2.6 ppt was from three samples collected downgradient of the site, the highest PFOA sample result in surface water of 3.8 ppt was from a sample collected downgradient of the site.  In general, surface water concentrations of Total PFAS in Portage Creek increase closer to the site. The highest PFOS+PFOA sample result in soil of 195 ppb was from a sample of paper residuals located in the southeast corner of the site in the Monarch Historic Dewatering Residual Lagoon (HRDL) and was collected at a depth of 10 to 11 feet below the ground surface. 
  • In July 2020, the Trust, on-behalf of EPA, submitted the pre-final remedial design.

Next Steps

  • The Trust, on-behalf of EPA, is not planning to complete any additional sampling prior to clean-up actions being initiated at the site. Clean-up actions may be initiated in 2021 or 2022. Groundwater monitoring at the site would resume once clean-up actions are complete.
  • EGLE received and provided comments on the pre-final remedial design report.  The proposed remedy includes consolidation and capping of materials on-site and long-term monitoring.
  • There will continue to be routine meetings between the City of Kalamazoo, the Trust, EGLE, and EPA to discuss the ongoing remedial design.

Residential Well Testing/Alternate Water Information

  • The landfill is located in Kalamazoo’s well head protection area. The nearest drinking water wells in the downgradient and cross gradient direction are approximately 1-mile away.
  • No residential well sampling is being proposed at this time.

Upcoming Community Engagement

  • None scheduled at this time.

Sampling: PFOS and PFOA Only

Type of Sample

Date Sampled (or range)

Number of Sample Results Received

Number of Samples above PFOS Criteria

Number of Samples above PFOA Criteria

Groundwater April 2019 63 31 31
Surface Water October 2019 13 0 0
Cumulative   76 31 31

*Groundwater results are compared to EGLE Part 201 Criteria of PFOS 16 ppt and PFOA 8 ppt.
* 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

  • A “Do Not Eat” Fish Consumption Advisory is already in effect for Portage Creek and the Kalamazoo River due to the presence of PCBs in fish.