Kalamazoo River Cleanup Coalition Executive Director Gary Wager says the Environmental Protection Agency's proposal to clean up the former Allied Paper Landfill is "essentially the same" as a plan put forward by the city last year.
The EPA's plan calls for capping PCB material and installing a groundwater monitoring network. A news release from the EPA says that would allow for redevelopment on part of the Superfund site.
The KCRC had advocated for total removal of all PCB contamination from the site. Wager says one company has said it can neutralize the contamination on the site. He says if all of that falls into place, it would be the functional equivalent of removing the PCB contamination.
Wager says there are some advantages of neutralizing the contamination on site, rather than moving it to a landfill. He also says that there is a danger in holding out for total removal. Wager says the EPA could approve a plan for total removal, but never fund it, so the site remains in its current state.
The EPA’s final proposal won’t be released until after the comment period ends December first. Two roundtable meetings are scheduled for October and a public hearing on the proposal will be held in November. Wager says the Kalamazoo River Cleanup Coalition will be canvassing the neighborhoods near the landfill this weekend. He says they want to solicit public opinion and make sure that people know about their opportunity to comment on the proposal.