At the end of 2019, a group of state and federal natural resource trustees announced it was accepting Kalamazoo River watershed restoration project ideas that could be funded through a proposed $25 million agreement with NCR Corporation to partially settle natural resource damage claims stemming from past discharges of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) into the southwest Michigan river.
The Kalamazoo River Natural Resource Trustee Council for this site (the “Kalamazoo River Trustees”) welcomes project ideas submitted through its restoration portal. Ideas submitted by March 18 will be evaluated by the Kalamazoo River Trustees this spring. Project ideas submitted after March 18 will be evaluated in future rounds.
The Trustees will select project ideas for additional development and eventual funding based on 1) submitted ideas and 2) the restoration criteria described in the 2016 Final Restoration Plan and Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement, available on the Kalamazoo River website.
The Trustees will fund projects with existing funds from past claims for losses of natural resources and, if approved by the court, with funds from the settlement agreement with NCR Corporation, currently lodged with a federal district court. If approved, the NCR settlement will provide $27 million to resolve NCR’s liability, of which $25 million would go toward restoration and $2 million to reimburse a portion of the Trustees’ previously accrued assessment costs. The $25 million restoration funding would be paid over seven years.
The Kalamazoo River Trustees include:
- Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy.
- Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
- Michigan Department of Attorney General.
- U.S. Department of the Interior, represented by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
- U.S. Department of Commerce, represented by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
For more information about the Natural Resource Damage Assessment at the Allied Paper Inc./Portage Creek/Kalamazoo River Superfund Site, visit the Kalamazoo River website.