$46M plan to clean up river near Allied Paper

The Kalamazoo River near Otsego.

OTSEGO, Mich. (WOOD) — The Environmental Protection Agency says it has signed off on a five-year, $46 million plan to clean up contamination in the Kalamazoo River caused by the old Allied Paper Mill.

The project will cover nearly two miles of the river between the Plainwell and Otsego dams. As part of it, the Otsego dam will be removed, soil will be excavated along the riverbank and floodplain, and the river itself will be realigned to “create a single, stable channel.”

The EPA says it will negotiate with “responsible parties” to fund the plan, though a Thursday release did not list those entities.

The soil in the river was contaminated with the chemical PCB released as Allied Paper recycled paper stock. Plans to redevelop the 90-acre site of the paper mill in Kalamazoo are still in the works.