EPA extends comment period on dioxin cleanup to March 13; community action group meets Monday

Published: Saturday, February 26, 2011, 8:00 AM Updated: Saturday, February 26, 2011, 8:58 AM By Lindsay Knake | The Saginaw News

The EPA has an interim plan to limit dioxin exposure to residents living in the floodplain.

In January, the EPA hosted a public forum to educate floodplain residents and Great Lakes Bay Region citizens on the plans.

Many citizens expressed disappointment with the plan and want Dow Chemical Co., which leaked dioxins and furans into the region from the 1930s to the 1970s, to pay for relocation.

Dioxins are a chemical byproduct from combustion that are linked to cancer, reproductive problems and weakened immune systems in laboratory animals.

Residents can expect the EPA to order work this spring and summer designed to protect homes and properties from soil contaminated by the chemical, Remedial Project Manager Mary Logan said in January. The measures include adding more ground cover or moving soil, raising gardens and moving fire pits.

The EPA will address contamination at high-use properties along the rivers and highly contaminated segments along river banks to keep chemicals from moving down the river system that leads to Saginaw Bay. The agency will work with Midland-based Dow Chemical Co. and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment to develop long-term cleanup plans for the rivers and bay, Logan said.

The total project site includes 22 miles of the Tittabawassee River, 22 miles of the Saginaw River and 300 square miles of the Saginaw Bay.

The University of Michigan Dioxin Exposure Study released new analysis in January, which said dioxin gets into peoples' blood through food, not the environment.

An Ann Arbor-based ecologist and physician disagreed and said the study was not complete enough.

To view documents related to the site, visit the EPA website or visit the Dow Memorial Library at 1710 Saint Andrews in Midland, Hoyt Library at 505 Janes in Saginaw or the Wirt Public Library at 500 Center in Bay City.

Comments on the proposed plan may be submitted in writing to Community Involvement Coordinator Patricia Krause at EPA Region 5 (SI-7J), 77 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL 60604, by fax to Patricia Krause at (312) 697-2568 or online.

The Saginaw-Tittabawassee Rivers Contamination Community Advisory Group meets at 6 p.m., Monday at Saginaw Valley State University’s Regional Education Center.

The group discusses issues related to the Superfund site and the cleanup. The groups’ regular schedule of the third Monday of each month resumes in March.

For further information, the EPA has an information office in the Saginaw County Governmental Center, 111 S. Michigan in Saginaw.

Anyone in need of information can call 790-5215


For additional articles like this one, go to the Tittabawassee River Watch web site www.trwnews.net for complete coverage of the Tittabawassee River Dow Chemical dioxin contamination saga. . The Newspaper / Media page of our site contains an extensive archive of media articles dating back to January 2002. The source organization's web site link is listed to the right of the article, visit often for other news in our area. The Newspaper / Media page may be accessed by scrolling down to the bottom of the CONTENTS section and clicking on the Newspaper/Media link.