Dow Chemical, EPA agree on interim dioxin cleanup plan for Tittabawassee River

Published: Saturday, June 04, 2011, 12:05 PM
By Lindsay Knake | The Saginaw News

MIDLAND — Dow Chemical and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency signed a legal agreement requiring Dow to carry out an interim dioxin cleanup plan along the Tittabawassee River.

The plan involves Dow placing ground cover over flood plain soil and moving or raising gardens and recreation areas, according to the EPA.

The EPA will oversee the work, which is aimed at high-use areas that have dioxins and furans in the soil.

The agency identified more than 260 homes along the Tittabawassee and Saginaw rivers as needing clean up action.

After a public comment period earlier this year, the EPA decided to continue with the original cleanup plan.

The interim plan will limit people’s contact with the chemical byproducts while the agency and corporation decided on a final, long-term cleanup plan for the river system.

Dioxin is a group of chemical byproducts from combustion. People exposed to the human carcinogen can delay motor skills and neurodevelopment in children and impact growth, metabolism and reproductive hormones. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 95 percent of Americans have dioxins in their blood.

Dow has acknowledged responsibility for the dioxins and furans released into the Tittabawassee River from the 1930s to the 1970s.

Next week, retired Saginaw County Judge Leopold Borrello will clarify a 2005 ruling to move a lawsuit against Dow Chemical to class action status.

For more about dioxin in the Great Lakes Bay Region, click here.

Click here to read the EPA's action memorandum for the agreement.

For additional articles like this one, go to the Tittabawassee River Watch web site 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.