Graphic Self-Reported Minor Sump Discharge on October 20

On Thursday, October 20, Graphic Packaging contacted the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) and the City of Kalamazoo to self-report a minor incident involving a sump that overflowed paper fiber and water into the city’s stormwater system. The overflow occurred at 1810 Pitcher Street, near a section of the Kalamazoo River undergoing a Superfund cleanup unrelated to Graphic Packaging.

In Graphic’s notification to the state and city, we explained this release was clarified process water. In other words, it would be similar in nature to a cardboard box being broken down by a rainstorm and washing into a stormwater drain. Even though the incident was minor, we recognize and understand concerns community members may have when they hear about an inadvertent discharge.

We are working with the City of Kalamazoo to take all appropriate corrective actions to prevent any future discharge at this site. Those efforts include reviewing the retention area design in collaboration with the city officials who are involved in the site plan review to ensure the approved designs are operating as expected. We are also committed to communicating with area residents on an ongoing basis to ensure their voices and concerns are heard.