The EPA plans to hand over another part of Kalamazoo River cleanup to a responsible party
WMUK | By Jessi Phillips
Published September 8, 2023 at 11:50 AM EDT
Kalamazoo's Superfund site includes the Kalamazoo River from Galesburg's Morrow Dam to Lake Michigan.
A view of the Kalamazoo River where it passes through Comstock. The Superfund site includes the Kalamazoo River from Galesburg's Morrow Dam to Lake Michigan.
NCR Corp., formerly known as National Cash Register, manufactured carbon copy paper containing toxic chemicals.
The public still has time to comment on a proposed change to the EPA's cleanup plan for the Kalamazoo River. If the amendment is approved, NCR Corporation would complete the cleanup work on another section of the Superfund site.
The NCR Corporation, formerly known as National Cash Register, manufactured paper coated in toxic chemicals known as PCBs from the 1950s to early 70s. Kalamazoo paper mills recycled that paper, disposing of the waste in the Kalamazoo River, and some of the PCBs remained in the riverbed. PCBs were linked to cancer and other diseases and banned in 1979. The EPA declared an 80-mile section of the Kalamazoo River a Superfund site in 1990.
NCR reached a settlement with the EPA in 2019 to clean up several sections of the river. The company has chosen to do the work itself, rather than reimburse the EPA $52 million.
“We wanted NCR to do the work, and they’ve selected to do the work,” said the EPA’s Jim Saric. “And this is just a way to finalize that process and make sure that we can get comment on that and get it formally implemented.”
The EPA estimates that NCR can complete the cleanup for about $34 million, and will be working on the project for about 10 years. The public can comment on the plan until Sept. 20th. More information can be found on the EPA’s website.
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