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Otsego — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has signed off on a five-year, $46 million plan to clean up a stretch of the Kalamazoo River that’s contaminated from past paper production.

The project will cover nearly 2 miles of the river between Plainwell and Otsego City Dam. The Otsego dam will be removed as part of the work.

The plans are part of ongoing efforts to clean up the 80-mile Allied Paper/Portage Creek/Kalamazoo River Superfund site, which has been listed on the agency’s National Priorities List since 1990. Plans also are in the works to redevelop the Allied Paper site.

A main concern for the EPA is PCBs leftover from industrial processes at paper mills that began operating along the river in the 1950s.

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