KALAMAZOO (WKZO) -- Kalamazoo city officials, community leaders and neighborhood residents held a press conference Friday afternoon to voice their concerns over the most recent proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to cap and monitor soil contaminated with PCBs at the Allied Paper neighborhood site.
The overwhelming message heard at the event calls for the EPA to do a full removal of the toxic soil to a safer location. Weekly meetings have been organized by the Kalamazoo River Cleanup Coalition and Michigan United to form a community plan to fight the EPA's proposal. The EPA's plan is being called "unreasonable and unjust" since the Allied site is one of the only Superfund sites in the country that is located in a residential neighborhood and above a city aquifer.
Speakers from Friday’s event included:
Bruce Merchant, Director of Public Services for the City of Kalamazoo
Don Cooney, City Commissioner and Professor at Western Michigan University's School of Social Work
Rico White, member of the Edison Neighborhood Association Board
Sean McCann, Michigan State Representative
Dick Devisser, President of the Homecrest Circle Neighborhood Association
Bill Wells, President of the Edison Neighborhood Association Board
Gary Wager, Director of the Kalamazoo River Cleanup Coalition
Tobi Hanna-Davies, VP of Communications for ISAAC
Graciela Valdez, Edison resident, St. Joseph's parishioner, and Michigan United member
Michael Seals, County Commissioner District 4
Sarah Hill, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Environmental Studies at Western Michigan University
Watch above for footage from the press conference held at the Heritage Community of Kalamazoo located at 2400 Portage St.
Find everything you need to know on the Allied Paper controversy here:
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EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Kalamazoo City Commission holds special meeting on Allied Paper dump site
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Kalamazoo groups planning to protest over Allied Paper Dump proposal
Environmental Protection Agency prefers plan to keep PCB's in place at Allied Paper dump
Allied Paper dump strategy session to be held Tuesday evening in Kalamazoo
Allied Paper Clean-up Still a Problem
VIDEO: Kalamazoo Mayor Hopewell on Allied Paper Site Cleanup