This web site has been prepared and is maintained by the KLA Group as a source of news and information for residents of Oshtemo Township and surrounding communities. The KLA Group currently consists of Oshtemo Township, Kalamazoo County, the City of Kalamazoo, and the Upjohn Company.
The West KL Avenue Landfill is located in Oshtemo Township, Kalamazoo County, Michigan. The West KL Avenue Landfill was operated as a private landfill from approximately 1950 to1960, as a township landfill from the early 1960s to1968, and as a county landfill until 1979. Because the landfill was found to be leaking or "leaching" into groundwater, the landfill was closed in 1979 and was designated as a Superfund site in 1982.
To protect human health and the environment, the KLA Group is working in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) to investigate and address environmental impacts associated with the landfill.
Status of Remedial Activities
To date, numerous activities have been undertaken to protect human health and the environment, including:
- In 2005 and 2006, the KLA Group added an impermeable cap to the landfill consisting of a state-of-the-art, multilayer system at a cost of $10 million. The cap is designed to keep the waste that is in the landfill from leaving or "leaching" out of the landfill. The landfill is fenced and the KLA Group inspects and maintains the cap on a regular basis.
- An enhanced active landfill gas extraction system was installed in 2007. The purpose of the extraction system is to safely manage gases generated in the landfill, helping to reduce the overall impacts from the landfill.
- The KLA Group has financed the installation of miles of water main resulting in the connection of over 300 residences to the City of Kalamazoo municipal water supply.
- More than 100 groundwater monitoring wells have been put in place to monitor the distribution of constituents of concern associated with the landfill. Also, an EPA approved residential monitoring plan has been implemented to monitor residential wells to ensure protection of human health where wells are still being used.
- The KLA Group has established a "Groundwater Restricted Zone" or "GRZ" pursuant to Kalamazoo County's Sanitary Code. The GRZ is a legal mechanism that restricts the use of groundwater wells in the impacted area and a 1000 foot downgradient buffer zone. The USEPA endorsed the GRZ boundary. After holding public hearings, the Kalamazoo County Board of Commissioners approved the GRZ on December 1, 2015. The GRZ became effective on March 9, 2016 and has been amended to the County Sanitary Code. For more information, see the Site-Wide Remedy page.