From: George Bruchmann, MDEQ 08/14/03 04:05PM >>>
To: Susan Carringon, Dow Chemical Company)
Waste and Hazardous Materials Division (WHMD) staff has conducted a
preliminary review of the Scopes of Work (SOWs) for Midland Area Soils and
the Tittabawassee River Sediments/ Flood Plain submitted by Dow on August
11. The purpose of this note is to convey the results of that review to Dow
and the Community Advisory Panel (CAP) and to identify the next steps in the
SOW review and approval process. By copy of this note to Cheryl Howe, I am
asking that she forward this note to CAP members for their information.
The preliminary review identified a number of key issues that must be
resolved prior to approval of the SOWs. Many of these issues were discussed
by WHMD and Remediation and Redevelopment Division staff at our August 5
meeting with Dow and in the follow-up e-mail on August 7. Our preliminary
review included a side-by-side review of the SOWs in comparison to Condition
XI.B. of the operating license. This review indicates that Dow did not
adequately address all of the applicable elements that are required by the
license to be included in the SOWs.
Specifically, Condition XI.B.3.(a) of the license requires the SOWs to
identify and propose the implementation of specific interim response
activities (IRAs) for the protection of public health for the areas
identified in Condition XI.B.2. of the license that are known through prior
environmental sampling to be impacted by releases from the facility. An IRA
is a short term action that is taken to control ongoing risks while site
characterization is underway or before a final remedy is selected. The path
set forth in the license for IRAs does not include or reference the step of
submitting an IRA work plan for approval under Condition XI.G. of the
license. (It is also noted that, unlike Condition XI.G., Condition XI.B. is
not subject to the dispute resolution provisions of Condition XI.E. of the
license). Issuance of the license was the written notification by the Chief
of the WHMD that IRAs are necessary. The specific IRAs were to be
identified and proposed in the SOWs for direct implementation upon approval
of the SOWs. The SOWs should divide IRAs into two categories: those that
will reduce exposure and can be implemented immediately in areas of known
contamination and those which require further investigation.
Of particular concern is that IRAs proposed in the Tittabawassee River Area
SOW do not include any direct exposure mitigation for the Riverside Blvd.
residential area. Your proposal to conduct sampling and an exposure
evaluation without controlling potential ongoing exposures is not acceptable
as an IRA. As noted in the August 7 e-mail to you on this issue,
consideration should be given to offering the residents in this area a range
of alternatives to begin reducing the potential for exposure immediately -
before the results of an exposure study are available. Sampling and
exposure investigation can and should be a part of the IRA for this area,
but direct mitigation is also required.
In addition, the Tittabawassee River Area SOW should propose to identify any
other residential properties in the Tittabawassee River area of concern that
are or could be contaminated so that immediate IRAs (sampling and exposure
controls) may be implemented, if necessary.
The SOWs do not appropriately prioritize work in a schedule based on
consideration of potential risks to human health and the environment in
accordance with Condition XI.B.3.(b) of the license. As an example, without
even considering the time necessary for regulatory review and approval,
under the proposed schedule Dow would not be proceeding with the
identification of property that is frequently flooded (and therefore
probably contaminated) until almost a year after the SOW is approved. The
same concern applies to the identification and characterization of the areas
of highest contamination in Midland.
It is also not clear why a six-month period is necessary to prepare a
current conditions report or why approval of that report is necessary to
begin the development of a Remedial Investigation work plan. The current
conditions report can be submitted as a component of the work plan to
accelerate the review and approval process. The proposed schedule should be
modified to provide for the commencement of the remedial investigation
during the 2004 field season. Data collection necessary for the evaluation
and implementation of IRAs should be initiated yet this year.
Condition XI.B.3.(b)(i) of the license requires Dow to identify in the SOWs
additional potential exposure pathways that do not have Part 201 of Act 451
generic criteria (e.g., food chain exposures, house dust, etc.). Currently
the SOWs state that additional exposure pathways will be identified and
evaluated and, therefore, do not address this requirement.
Condition XI.B.3.(b)(ii) of the license requires the SOWs to identify the
specific areas proposed for investigation and the process proposed for
selecting those areas. Other than the four areas proposed in the
Tittabawassee SOW for IRAs, specific areas for investigation are not
identified in the SOWs. For example, as discussed on August 5, the areas of
Midland where the highest levels of surficial soil contamination is presumed
to be present are not specifically identified for immediate investigation.
This would seem to be a reasonable and necessary IRA. Also as discussed on
August 5, specific areas of investigation should include the Shiawassee
Wildlife Refuge and the Greenpoint Nature Center.
The SOWs appear to only address dioxins and furans as the "contaminants of
concern." As discussed on August 5, Dow is required to conduct a remedial
investigation that includes characterization of all contaminants that may
have been released beyond the facility boundary. It is not appropriate to
narrow the SOWs to dioxins and furans at this point.
As we have discussed, Dow may begin to implement interim measures to begin
reducing exposure immediately, without waiting for MDEQ approval.
As for next steps the WHMD has options under Condition XI.B.4., which
include either modifying and approving the SOWs, or providing a detailed
Notice of Deficiency on the SOWs. We would like to discuss with Dow the
substantive changes necessary to develop SOWs that may be quickly approved
by the WHMD. Timely resolution of these issues is necessary and prudent for
the protection of public health and the environment. Meeting prior to the
September 3 CAP meeting will afford Dow the opportunity to address the
preliminary concerns and provide a meaningful basis for discussion at the
September 3 meeting and subsequent public meetings as to how you intend to
address concerns already identified.
As mentioned previously, we will be meeting with the CAP on September 3 and
will be hosting two public meetings later in September to solicit public
comment on the SOWs. We have requested Dow participation in these meetings
to present your SOWs. To date, we have not received confirmation that Dow
intends to present the SOWs. Please let us know so that we can coordinate
George Bruchmann, Chief
Waste & Hazardous Materials Division
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
tel.: 517.373.9523; fax: 517.373.4797;