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Old Posted Jun 7, 2017, 8:24 PM
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deja vu deja vu is offline
somewhere in-between
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: West Michigan
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Related to the previous post, here's more info on the Allied Paper site, an EPA-designated Superfund cleanup area.

The large site that sits vacant today served the Kalamazoo paper manufacturing industry for over 100 years, from the 1890s to 1990s. Bryant Paper opened there in 1895 and it eventually became Allied Paper, which shut down in the 1980s, along with most of Kalamazoo's other paper factories. A few attempts to revive the factory in the 1990s were short-lived, and massive demolition took place in 2004 to eradicate the abandoned factory buildings - there's lots of incredible photos documenting the mill, and its subsequent demolition here and here. I wish I had been around to see it before it was gone - here are a couple of my favorite shots from

The 1920s-era power plant:

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Scrap metal in front of the power plant from demo:

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View from inside the power plant:

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Turbine Room:

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Catwalk view of power plant:

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So, all of that is now long gone, and what was left behind is the largest EPA-designated Superfund brownfield site in the city. Of the 89 acre site, 70 acres of Allied Paper was confirmed as polluted with PCBs. The site is just one of six "operable units" within an even larger zone spanning Allegan and Kalamazoo counties along the Kalamazoo River, where it has been calculated that hundreds of tons of PCBs were dumped during the region's industrial days.

From the City:

The Allied Superfund Landfill site is located on the City’s south side in the midst of three neighborhoods:  Edison, Milwood and Westnedge Hill.  The landfill, created by Allied Paper Mill and its successors, contains approximately 1.5 million cubic yards of PCB-contaminated materials and has been the subject of considerable attention over the last eight years based on state and federal efforts regarding cleaning up the Site.
Source - Kalamazoo City Website

In Fall of 2016, the EPA approved a (controversial) cleanup plan for the site, referred to as "The Hybrid". Under this plan, the contaminants will all be moved to one area of the site, freeing up about 20 acres of cleared land for new development. Several earlier proposals calling for complete removal of all contaminants was deemed too costly to do, at a price tag of around $180 million.

Image Source: City of Kalamazoo

Image Source: MLive

For context, here's an aerial view of the entire site - north is to the right. The future home of the Health Department / former Illinois Envelope Building is at the far right. The shaded blue region is 1 mile long. The landfill area is on the left and borders Portage Creek, which drains into the Kalamazoo River.

Image Source: Google Maps

Last edited by deja vu; Jun 7, 2017 at 8:35 PM.
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