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Former Fox River Paper Company (Vicksburg, Kalamazoo County)

EGLE Site Lead: Erica Bays, BaysE@Michigan.gov or 269-350-0080.Webpage last updated October 13, 2021.

Background

The former Fox River Paper Company located at 300 West Highway Street, operated between 1904 and 2001. Historic operations at the former mill consisted of the manufacturing of paper products from recycled carbon fibers (rags). Other paper products produced at the mill included other grades of paper such as: blueprint, photographic base paper, wallpaper, and text paper. Additionally, there is a property to the south of the former mill that was used for landfilling and another area to the south that was utilized as a spray irrigation field for the mill's treated wastewater.

The Former Fox River Paper Company is a current Brownfield Site that is undergoing redevelopment. As part of the site characterization for a portion of the work being conducted, the developer sampled for PFAS. Multiple PFAS compounds were detected at the site.

Groundwater flow direction at the site is generally to the south, with localized flow to the adjoining Portage Creek and wetland. Groundwater is known to vent to the creek.

Former Fox River Paper Company Groundwater Analytical Results Map

Recent Accomplishments

  • On May 5, 2021, the developer's contractor, Phillips Environmental, installed four temporary groundwater monitoring wells and sampled for PFAS.
  • On May 29, 2021, Philips Environmental received analytical results for the groundwater sampling and two of the four wells had concentrations of PFOS and PFOA exceeding the groundwater clean-up criteria. The highest PFOS result was 59 ppt and 11 ppt PFOA.
  • On June 9, 2021, EGLE was provided the analytical results. EGLE notified the state and local health departments, and the Village of Vicksburg of the groundwater sample results.

Next Steps

  • EGLE will communicate with the liable party about the PFAS contamination and make them aware of their obligations to address the groundwater contamination
  • EGLE will coordinate with other state and local officials to determine necessary actions related to the potential sampling of wells.

Residential Well/Alternate Water

  • There are two residential wells downgradient of this site and one irrigation well nearby. EGLE will work to obtain access agreements to sample the wells.

Upcoming Community Engagement

  • None scheduled at this time.

Sampling Results Summary

Type of Sample

Date Sampled
(or range)

Number of Sample
Results Received

Number of Samples
above Criteria*

Groundwater Monitoring
Wells
May 5, 2021 4 2

*Residential well and groundwater monitoring well results are compared to EGLE Part 201 criteria for 7 PFAS compounds effective 12/21/2020:  PFOS (16 ppt), PFOA (8 ppt), PFNA (6 ppt), PFHxS (51 ppt), PFHxA (400,000 ppt), PFBS (420 ppt), and HFPO-DA (370 ppt).

Sampling Notes

  • None at this time.