Kalamazoo-Hundreds of supporters rallied in Kalamazoo to send a clear message to the EPA that the residents of Kalamazoo want complete removal of PCB’s from the old Allied Paper Mill site on Alcott. In 1999, Bryant Mill Pond was excavated, and PCB-contaminated soils were piled up at the Allied site. Most residents were under the impression that the PCB’s were removed from the area in 2007 with the demolition of the old paper mill.
PCBs(polychlorinated biphenyls) are synthetic organic chemicals, banned in the US in the 1970’s, that have a high range of toxicity used in hundreds of industrial and commercial applications, such as: carbonless paper, plastics, rubber, paints, and transformers. These contaminates located at the Allied site sit directly on top of an aquifer that provides water to approx. 48,000 residents.
Residents, especially in the Edison Neighborhood have a higher risk of exposure. If these PCB’s are not cleared out properly, they will remain in the air, soil and water for hundreds of years.
Mayor Bobby Hopewell of Kalamazoo, Sean McCann State Rep. for Kalamazoo as well as city commissioners residents made remarks at the rally.
The EPA proposes to seal the 1.5 million cubic yards of waste containing PCBs, keeping it kn Kalamazoo in perpetuity and costing residents millions of dollars. The residents spoke loud and clear as the march proceed to the Allied site, that they want the toxic pile removed to a landfill that is able to receive hazardous waste in Wayne County.
Hopewell and other city officials will head to Chicago Thursday to meet with EPA officials to seek a resolution to a $300 million-plus estimated cleanup.