Dow talks to residents at properties with high dioxin levels

Friday, February 25, 2005


Dioxin cleanup will start in a meeting room for residents and property owners along the Tittabawassee River.

Dow Chemical Co. has mailed 220 invitations to the owners and occupants of the most-polluted properties along the dioxin-tainted floodplain, specifically those with contamination levels higher than 1,000 parts per trillion.

The chemical giant will host five meetings next week to give residents a glimpse into what cleanup options are available .

"These are informational meetings," said Dow spokeswoman Anne Ainsworth. "We want to give people a little more detail about what is being done, how it is being done and when it is going to be done."

The state Department of Environmental Quality and Dow reached an agreement last month that calls for action within a year on properties with the highest dioxin levels.

While a comprehensive cleanup plan remains undefined, Dow has agreed to insulate residents from dioxin in the interim. The company will clean homes, purge dust from ventilation ducts and provide landscaping that keeps people from touching or inhaling the pollutant.

The agreement identifies 130 properties -- owned or occupied by about 220 households -- that demand immediate attention.

Dow plans to tackle the problem first with information. The company will meet with residents and property owners Tuesday through Thursday at Horizons Conference Center, 6200 State in Saginaw Township.

The meetings are closed to the public, but Dow has invited state regulators to each session.

DEQ spokeswoman Patricia Spitzley raised no objections to the meetings.

"(Dow) has the right to present and conduct these meetings," she said. "The more information and education people can receive about the effects of dioxin the better."v

Jeremiah Stettler is a staff writer at the Saginaw News. You may reach him at 776-9685.

© 2005 Saginaw News

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