PFAS prompts Kalamazoo River testing in Kalamazoo

Kalamazoo and Battle Creek

An Aug. 5, 2019 photo shows the Kalamazoo River.

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — The Kalamazoo River is being tested this week for PFAS, after the likely carcinogen popped up in screenings at a former paper manufacturer site near the waterway.

The new PFAS site was home to the former Georgia-Pacific paper mill, located between King Highway and East Michigan Avenue east of downtown Kalamazoo.

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The factory was torn down years ago, but PFAS was recently found on the property when it was added to the list of contaminants to test for at the surrounding Superfund site.

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy is concerned the PFAS could leach into the Kalamazoo River running along the nearly 5-acre property.

All the homes in that area are on municipal water, but tests on wells for the nearby city water pumping station showed elevated PFAS levels.

The PFAS results are still below the state guidelines for action. So right now, EGLE says the city water remains safe.

The state’s next steps are to monitor the site and finish testing the river water.

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