Kalamazoo, MI


Kalamazoo, MI

The City of Kalamazoo is home to an estimated 75,807 residents, and it’s located in Kalamazoo County, MI.

This report will help you become better acquainted with Kalamazoo and the surrounding area by addressing the following questions:

  • Are there any hazardous sites in Kalamazoo County, MI?
  • How clean is the air in Kalamazoo County, MI?
  • What’s the average radon level for homes in Kalamazoo County, MI?
  • Is the water in Kalamazoo County, MI safe to drink?

Hazardous Sites near Kalamazoo, MI

There are five Superfund sites in Kalamazoo County, MI. Superfund sites, like Roto-Finish Co., Inc. in Kalamazoo, MI, are areas that have been contaminated with hazardous substances. If not for the cleanup efforts orchestrated by the EPA, these sites could endanger people living in nearby communities.

The EPA uses the Hazardous Ranking System (HRS) to quantify the risk a contaminated site poses to human health and the environment. Sites assigned HRS scores of 28.5 or greater qualify for placement on the National Priorities List (NPL), and are eligible to receive federal funding for cleanup efforts.

Before the EPA deletes a site from the NPL, it conducts reviews to ensure the cleanup was sufficient. As a result, some sites remain on the active site list long after cleanup activities are complete.

For more information about the Superfund sites located in the Kalamazoo, MI area, be sure to review the map and background information provided below:


Map Legend:

26077

A. Roto-Finish Co., Inc. (HRS Score: 41)

The Roto-Finish Co., Inc. site, where wastewater from manufacturing processes caused groundwater contamination, is located in Kalamazoo, MI.

Contaminants found at the Roto-Finish Co., Inc. site include:

  • 1,1,2-Trichloroethane
  • Trichloroethene
  • 1,1-Dichloroethene
  • 1,2-Dichloroethane
  • Tetrachloroethene
26077

B. K&L Avenue Landfill (HRS Score: 38)

The K&L Avenue Landfill site is located in Oshtemo Township, MI.

Contaminants found at the K&L Avenue Landfill site include:

  • Barium
  • Benzene
  • Cadmium
  • Chromium
  • Iron
26077

C. Michigan Disposal Service (Cork Street Landfill) (HRS Score: 38)

The Michigan Disposal Service (Cork Street Landfill) site is located in Kalamazoo, MI.

Contaminants found at the Michigan Disposal Service (Cork Street Landfill) site include:

  • Antimony
  • Arsenic
  • Barium
  • Benzene
  • Beryllium
26077

D. Allied Paper, Inc./Portage Creek/Kalamazoo River (HRS Score: 36)

The Allied Paper, Inc./Portage Creek/Kalamazoo River site, which includes paper mill properties, riverbanks, and contaminated soil and sediment, is located in Kalamazoo, MI.

Contaminants found at the Allied Paper, Inc./Portage Creek/Kalamazoo River site include:

  • Aluminum
  • Antimony
  • Arsenic
  • Barium
  • Benzene
26077

E. Auto Ion Chemicals, Inc. (HRS Score: 32)

The Auto Ion Chemicals, Inc. site is in Kalamazoo, MI. Between 1914 to 1956, it was the location of a coal-fired electrical station, and from 1964 to 1973, Auto Ion operated a chromium plating facility on the site.

Contaminants found at the Auto Ion Chemicals, Inc. site include:

  • Arsenic
  • Barium
  • Cadmium
  • Chromium
  • Cyanide

Air Quality in the Kalamazoo, MI Area

The two most widespread forms of air pollution are ozone (smog) and particle pollution (soot). Exposure to these harmful pollutants, for even just a short period, can have adverse effects on your health.

Thanks to data collected by air monitoring equipment located across the country, the American Lung Association (ALA) is able to assess and track our air quality using three metrics:

  • Ozone
  • Short-term Particle Pollution
  • Year-round Particle Pollution

In their 2019 annual report, the ALA rated the air quality in Kalamazoo County, MI as follows:

Ground-Level
Ozone Pollution

Grading Scale: A-F

Short-Term
Particle Pollution

Grading Scale: A-F

Year-Round
Particle Pollution

Grading Scale: Pass/Fail

Radon Levels in Kalamazoo, MI Area

Air quality inside your home can be impacted by a number of factors, including the presence of hazardous substances in building materials (asbestos, lead, formaldehyde, etc.) and local radon levels.

Radon is a naturally occurring gas you cannot see or smell. It can build up inside your home and negatively impact your indoor air quality as well as your health.

To provide a guideline, the EPA assigned one of three zones to each U.S. county and county equivalent:

  • Zone 1 (higher radon levels)
  • Zone 2 (moderate levels)
  • Zone 3 (lower levels)

The average indoor radon reading in Kalamazoo County, MI is predicted to be higher than 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L), so the county has been assigned EPA Radon Zone 1.

EPA Radon Zone

The EPA Recommends acting to reduce your home's radon level if it's measured at 4 pCi/L or greater. So, if you're thinking about purchasing a home in Kalamazoo, MI, you should strongly consider having a radon test performed.

Water Quality in Kalamazoo, MI Area

In accordance with the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), the EPA sets regulatory limits for drinking water contaminants known to cause adverse health effects.

The following Kalamazoo County, MI water provider(s) violated the maximum allowable level for one or more regulated contaminants:

Filter ValueWater SystemContaminantHealth Effects
26077Climax Mobile Home ParkNitrateInfants below the age of six months who drink water containing nitrate in excess of the MCL could become seriously ill and, if untreated, may die. Symptoms include shortness of breath and blue-baby syndrome. 
26077Evergreen ParkNitrateInfants below the age of six months who drink water containing nitrate in excess of the MCL could become seriously ill and, if untreated, may die. Symptoms include shortness of breath and blue-baby syndrome. 
26077Kellogg Biological StationArsenicSkin damage or problems with circulatory systems, and may have increased risk of getting cancer

In addition to setting enforceable standards for harmful contaminants, the EPA also established guidelines to assist public water providers in managing the taste, odor and color of their drinking water.

To find out more about what’s in your drinking water, contact your utility company and request a copy of the latest Consumer Confidence Report.


Sources and Methods

Hazardous Sites: Identified using a report from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), hazardous sites detailed on trendingtowns.com represent sites contained on the National Priorities List (NPL) as of November 25, 2019.  The NPL is the list of national priorities among the known releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants throughout the United States and its territories.  All site-related data was sourced from the EPA.

Air Quality: Grades for ozone, short-term particle pollution, and year-round particle pollution were obtained from State of the Air 2019, a report compiled by the American Lung Association.

Radon Zones: Radon zone designations were obtained using a public use dataset provided by the EPA (September 11, 2019).

Water Quality: Drinking water violation data was sourced from the Safe Drinking Water Information System (SDWIS), a public use database provided by the EPA.  The dataset included violations submitted to the database as of the third quarter of 2019.

Paul

I’ve moved several times over the years, so I know just how stressful it can be to relocate. I want to help put your mind at ease. That’s why I research and write about all the things I think you should consider when moving to a new town.

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