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Community Hopes EPA Cleans Up The Toxic Waste Site In Kalamazoo Instead Of Capping It

Posted at 6:55 PM, Apr 02, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-02 18:55:39-04

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — The EPA wants to cap or, “cover” a toxic waste dump site.  Many people in the area do not agree and are rather furious with the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to just take the cheapest option of capping the site, oppose to cleaning it up.

“We hope this decision can be changed, and if not, I’m not sure what the next step is,” Gary Wagers, the executive director of the Kalamazoo River Clean Up Coalition said.

Hes added, “I’m sure there [are] plenty of people who think this is a bad decision and want the material removed from the Portage Creek area.”

 Many plan to speak up at a community meeting Tuesday night regarding the decision made by the EPA, saying the drinking water can be contaminated by leaving the toxic PCB chemicals in the ground.

This is at the site of the former Allied Paper Mill that began production in 1921 when three local paper mills merged, creating over 8 million cubic yards of contaminated material.

The PCBs have traveled along the Portage Creek and into the Kalamazoo River, also causing significant contamination all the way downstream to the dam in Allegan County.