Midwest Region Conserving the nature of America

 

Conserving the Nature

of America

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.

 

 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife

Service in the Midwest

The Midwest Region includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin. Find a location near you.

The Midwest Region includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin.
Find a location or office
near you »

Kalamazoo River

Natural Resource Damage Assessment

 

Assessment | Restoration Plans | Restoration Projects | Settlements

 

Background

Industrial activities on the Kalamazoo River and Portage Creek released polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) to those waterways and the surrounding environment. As a result, the U.S. EPA designated areas downstream of the releases of PCBs as the Allied Paper, Inc./Portage Creek/Kalamazoo River Superfund Site.

 

Fish consumption warning sign along the Kalamazoo River during cleanup work in 2018.Fish consumption warning sign along the Kalamazoo River during cleanup work in 2018.  A section of the river near Otsego was closed to recreation at that time for safety during the cleanup work and dam removal. 

Photo courtesy of Paul Ruesch, U.S. EPA.

 

 

The U.S. EPA and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality are working to clean up the contaminants in the river system and/or or halt the risk from them in some way. For the current status of the cleanup process, visit EPA's Kalamazoo Project website or MDEQ's website on the Allied Paper, Inc./Portage Creek/Kalamazoo River Superfund Site.

 

Meanwhile, the Trustees for natural resources are conducting a Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA). In the NRDA, the Trustees will determine the amount of restoration needed both to return the Kalamazoo River Environment to what it would have been like if the contaminants had not been released and to compensate the public for the loss of use and enjoyment of their natural resources resulting from the contaminants. In order to determine the amount of restoration and compensation required, the Trustees first evaluate the amounts and types of injuries to natural resources that result from the contaminants in the environment. Injuries include things like poor reproduction in bald eagles and mink and fish consumption advisories for anglers in the area.

 

The Trustee agencies for this NRDA are the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the Michigan Department of the Attorney General, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

 

We are making progress toward restoration of the Kalamazoo River!  The river was returned to its historical channel at the Plainwell Dam site in 2009. The Service and our co-trustees negotiated with the paper companies and U.S. EPA to combine dam removal and river restoration with the PCB removal action completed in the former Plainwell Impoundment of the river.  Cleaned banks were revegetated with native grasses, shrubs and trees. The Trustees used bankruptcy settlement funds and additional funding from the State of Michigan to restore a section of Portage Creek in 2018. For more information on this and other restoration projects, please visit the Restoration Projects section of this website.

 

Administrative Record

Administrative Record for Kalamazoo River NRDA

 

Contacts

If you have any questions concerning information found in any of these reports or any other comments related to the Kalamazoo River Environment NRDA, contact us via email or telephone:

 

Kayakers on a natural stretch of the Kalamazoo River.

Kayakers enjoy a natural stretch of the Kalamazoo River.

Photo by USFWS; Annette Trowbridge

Lisa Williams, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, East Lansing Field Office, 517-351-8324

 

John Riley, Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, 517-284-5045

 

Julie Sims, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration,734-741-2385

 

Georgia Parham, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Region 3 External Affairs, 812-334-4261 ext. 203

 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Links

Region 3 NRDA Homepage

Region 3 Contaminants Program Homepage

 

Other Links

For more information on the Superfund cleanup process at this site, visit EPA's website on the Kalamazoo Project or MDEQ's webpage on the Allied Paper, Inc./Portage Creek/Kalamazoo River Superfund Site

 

For more information on NRDA, in general, visit Department of Interior's NRDA Homepage

 

Kalamazoo River as a Great Lakes Area of Concern, U.S. EPA's website on the AOC and RAP process

 

 

Midwest NRDA Home

Midwest Environmental Contaminants Home