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EPA decides Kalamazoo’s “Mount PCB” to get consolidated, capped

Lindsey Smith
Michigan Radio
The Allied landfill site sits directly behind dozens of neighbors’ backyards. A fence separates the yards from Portage Creek, which runs around the Allied site. ";

U.S. EPA announced Fridayit will consolidate and cap one-and-a-half-million cubic yards of old industrial waste in Kalamazoo. It’s been dubbed a compromise plan after residents and city leaders urged the EPA to choose a plan that would remove the waste entirely from the Allied Site.

“I’m reluctant to use terms like compromise because protectiveness is something the EPA can’t compromise on,” EPA Remedial Project Manager Michael Berkoff said.

“We have selected the best remedy for the site … because of its protectiveness both in the short-term and the long-term due to the stewardship that we anticipate the city providing,” he said.

Berkoff says a heavy-duty cap will keep water from getting into the site neighbors have called “Mount PCB.” The remedy also includes long-term monitoring to ensure the PCBs stay in place. The remedial option is expected to cost $63 million.

Berkoff says the next step is the design phase, which will last up to two years. Implementing the cleanup itself will take another two years.

This option includes potential redevelopment of some of the site.

The Allied Site is one section of an 80-mile stretch of the Kalamazoo River Superfund site.

Lindsey Smith is a Peabody Award-winning journalist currently leading the station's Amplify Team. She previously served as Michigan Public's Morning News Editor, Investigative Reporter and West Michigan Reporter.
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