Dioxin contaminated island in Tittabawassee River to be cleaned by Dow Chemical Co.
By Tony Lascari Midland Daily News | Sat Jul 16, 2011.

Cleanup work is expected to take place this year on a small polluted island in the Tittabawassee River.

The Dow Chemical Co., which is responsible for the dioxin and furan contamination at the site, recently signed an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to complete the work.

The island is located about 17 miles south of the confluence of the Tittabawassee and Chippewa rivers. It is contaminated with up to 17,500 parts per trillion of dioxin TEQ, which is a toxic equivalency measurement.

The EPA selected a cleanup option that will remove contaminated sediment above the water surface, with the remaining island sediment and nearby underwater areas being capped. The early cleanup action is intended to limit contaminated sediment from moving downstream, according to the EPA.

The agency hosted a public hearing to gather input on the proposed cleanup in April at Saginaw Valley State University. At that hearing, some residents suggested the project could be a waste of time since heavy erosion in recent years has shrunk the island considerably.

The EPA said that based on public comment, it modified its proposed remedy to include a contingency that allows the agency to adjust the amount of sediment removed and the areas capped, based on studies of current conditions.

The estimated cost for this cleanup option is $500,000.

In related news, the next meeting of the Saginaw-Tittabawassee Rivers Contamination Community Advisory Group is planned for 6 to 9 p.m. Monday at SVSU's Curtiss Hall.

The group meets monthly to discuss issues related to the Superfund site and its cleanup. The meetings are open to the public.

Visit www.epa.gov/region5/cleanup/dowchemical for more information.

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