PCB cleanup continues along Kalamazoo River

Jun 24, 2012

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) - Cleanup of sediments contaminated with PCBs continues along parts of the Kalamazoo River.

MLive.com reports Sunday that work on the river includes the capping of a landfill and removing contamination hot spots at Portage Creek, near Kalamazoo.

The river was declared a federal Superfund site 32 years ago. Officials are removing sediment along an 80-mile stretch from Saugatuck near Lake Michigan to just east of Battle Creek contaminated with waste byproducts from former paper mills.

Kalamazoo River Watershed Council president Steven Hamilton tells MLive.com that "the river has been improving in water quality and in its overall environmental condition for the past several decades."

Hamilton adds that the "biggest challenge for restoration" is the polychlorinated biphenyls in the sediments.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is helping remove the contaminants.