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State, Federal Agencies to Meet with Public to Discuss Kalamazoo River Cont

Date Posted: July 14, 2005

State and federal agencies, acting as trustees for the natural resources of the Kalamazoo River, will be available Tuesday, July 19, 2005, to discuss the Stage 1 Natural Resource Damage Assessment Reports for the Allied Paper Inc./Portage Creek/Kalamazoo River Superfund Site. The public availability session will take place from 7 pm to 9 pm at the Comfort Inn, 622 Allegan Street (M-89), Plainwell, Michigan.

Trustees for the Kalamazoo River currently include the Michigan Departments of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) and Natural Resources (MDNR), the Michigan Attorney General, the U.S. Department of the Interiors Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and the U.S. Department of Commerces National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). MDNR only recently became a trustee and therefore did not participate in the development of the Stage 1 reports. Members of the public will have an opportunity to talk about the reports with trustee representatives from MDEQ, USFWS, MDNR and NOAA.

The reports, released in March 2005, estimate the extent of injury and damage to fish, wildlife, and habitat from the release of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) into the river, primarily from paper mills along the river. The contamination occurred primarily during the mills process of de-inking carbonless copy paper, which contained high concentrations of PCBs.

In the reports, the trustees analyzed the extent of PCB releases into the Kalamazoo River environment and the resulting injuries to natural resources. The reports also estimate impacts on recreational fishing due to fish consumption advisories, discuss possible additional damages, and provide a plan for evaluating possible ways to restore the rivers natural resources.

The reports are part of a Natural Resources Damage Assessment, or NRDA, that evaluates the impacts on fish, wildlife, and other natural resources when contaminants are released into the environment. The goal of the NRDA is to identify options to restore injured resources and determine how much restoration is needed.

Contacts:
Questions regarding the meeting should be directed to Dr. Lisa Williams, USFWS, at 517-351-8324 or Judy Gapp, MDEQ, at 517-373-7402.

Links:
The reports are available for viewing at the Allegan Public Library, Otsego District Library, Saugatuck-Douglas Library, and the Waldo Library at Western Michigan University and on the internet at http://www.fws.gov/midwest/kalamazooNRDA/

Last updated: February 13, 2013