Kalamazoo Co., state to update Richland Twp residents on PFAS test results

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Photo courtesy: MDEQ

RICHLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. —  Health officials from Kalamazoo County and the state of Michigan will hold an open house and meeting on July 18th in Richland Township, where well samplings in some areas have detected potentially high levels of contaminants in drinking water.

The open house will run from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m Wednesday, followed by the meeting from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Both forums will be at Living Hope Community Church, 9292 East CD Avenue in Richland Township.

The Michigan Department of Enviromental Quality – in coordination with the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services, and the Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services – will provide the update on contamination testing along the Production Plated Plastics Co. study area. The site is near 34th Street and D Avenue.  1990 court records indicate the former electro-plating firm’s manufacturing processes included the storage and discharge of hazardous wastes.

FOX 17 research shows a federal lawsuit was filed against Production Plated Plastics and other defendants in 1990 over alleged violations of the Resource Conversation & Recovery Act (RCRA). According to the suit, “Plaintiffs allege that defendants operated a hazardous waste facility and stored and disposed of hazardous waste at defendant’s Richland, Michigan facility…”.

The 2018 testing pertained to Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Exposure to those man-made chemicals has been linked to kidney disorders, cancer, thyroid disease and other health-related problems.

In a news release, the MDEQ says “Phase 1 sampling shows detections above the EPA Lifetime Health Advisory level in some drinking-water wells near the former Production Plated Plastics site. Residents with detections above the Lifetime Health Advisory level have been provided alternative water while additional testing takes place. Additionally, the sampling areas has been expanded to determine if PFAS contamination poses a risk to drinking water in a larger area.”

In May, the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team announced it would conduct a $1.7 million statewide study of PFAS in public-water supplies.


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