Skip to main content

Kalamazoo County, Portage, Portage Former Landfill and Firefighting Training Facility

EGLE Site Lead: Erica Bays, BaysE@Michigan.gov or 269-350-0080. Webpage last updated January 28, 2020.

Background

This site is a former landfill for the city of Portage located on South Westnedge Avenue, west of South Shore Drive.  PFAS samples were collected by the city during the process of preparing for submittal of a “no further action” request regarding the former city landfill, —a Part 201 site-.  This site also includes the adjacent fire fighter training facility, because that is where the highest levels of PFAS were detected.  There are no known records related to how often training occurred at the training facility, or if AFFF foam was used at the facility. 

Groundwater flow in the area is documented to be to the north, based on historic work conducted at the adjacent former city landfill.  Groundwater could connect to Portage Creek, which is a tributary of the Kalamazoo River. The upper Portage Creek is stocked with brown trout and promoted as an urban fishery. 

Surface water from the site generally runs to the south/southeast, towards the wetland areas, which are located to the south and east of the training facility (~700 feet) and West Lake, which is approximately 3,000 feet east of the facility.

Portage Firefighting Facility Area Map January 2020

Recent Accomplishments

  • In April, July, September, and October 2019, a consultant for the city of Portage collected soil and groundwater samples as part of a site investigation.
  • In December  2019, EGLE received verbal notification that the highest PFOS + PFOA groundwater result was 7,190 ppt and met with representatives from the city and their consultant to discuss the analytical results and next steps. Local residents were notified of the release and sampling of 25 residential wells occurred the week of January 20.

Next Steps

  • EGLE, the city of Portage, MDHHS and local health conferenced during the week of January 20 to determine next steps, including sampling residential wells in the area and additional investigation activities to determine the nature and extent of PFAS contamination.
  • Results of the residential wells are expected as early as January 30.
  • The City, county and EGLE are also discussing logistics for a town hall the week of February 10.
  • EGLE will consider the fisheries information when developing the 2020 fish sampling and surface water sampling plans.

Residential Well Testing/Alternate Water Information

  • Most residents in the area were connected to city water due to issues with the historical groundwater contamination associated with the adjacent former landfill. The Kalamazoo County Health and Community Services Department identified several residences that were not connected to city water.

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 - Oct 2019 28 28 5 10 13

Cumulative

  28 28 5 10 13

*Groundwater results are compared to EGLE Part 201 Criteria of 70 ppt PFOS+PFOA.

Sampling Notes

  • Other PFAS analytes were detected in samples. There are no federal or state standards for these analytes.
  • In October 2019, twenty-four surface and near surface soil samples were collected by the city. The analytical results have been provided to EGLE for review.