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EPA orders cleanup of sediment from Kalamazoo River, soil

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has ordered the removal of contaminated sediment and soil from a 1.5-mile stretch of the Kalamazoo River as part of a broader cleanup effort.

The Kalamazoo Gazette reports the EPA expects work to begin this summer and to be completed by spring 2018.

The stretch of river is part of the federal Superfund program designated for cleanup of polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, that once were used in papers mills that lined the river.

Long-term plans include removal of dams including the Otsego Township Dam.

A water-control structure was built at the site of the Otsego Township Dam, which is crumbling and no longer generates power or holds back water.

The dam still helps keep contaminated sediments from heading down the Kalamazoo River toward Lake Michigan.

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