EPA seeks public comment on Tittabawassee River cleanup next to Dow Chemical plant

Published: Thursday, August 11, 2011, 9:50 AM
 By Lindsay Knake | The Saginaw News
7 Dioxin Concerns 04Dredging of a 'dioxin hot spot' on the Tittabawassee River along the Dow Chemical plant in Midland in 2007.

KOCHVILLE TWP — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is seeking public comment on the Segment 1 cleanup of the Tittabawassee River.

The segment is a 3-mile section of the river adjacent to Dow Chemical Co.’s Midland plant. The area is contaminated with several different chemicals, including arsenic. Dioxins and furans are not EPA’s major concern at this location, said Remedial Project Manager Mary Logan last month.

The comment period is open and ends Aug. 31. View the full cleanup documents here.

Segment 1 is divided into six areas called sediment management areas, and the EPA recommends four different cleanup methods.

• Segment management area 1: Place a clean cap over contaminated sediment to isolate and stabilize it.

• Segment management areas 2 and 3: Remove and treat a pollutant called dense nonaqueous phase liquid, a liquid, tarry substance heavier than water. Isolate other contaminated sediment with sheet pile and a cap, and capture and treat water within the sediment

• Segment management areas 4 and 5: Place a clean cap over contaminated sediment.

• Segment management area 6: Dredge and dispose some contaminated sediment, remove and treat dense nonaqueous phase liquid, isolate remaining contaminated sediment with sheet pile and a cap, and capture and treat water within the sediment

There are no residential properties on either side of the river in that segment.

Work at the Tittabawassee River this year is the start of an interim cleanup to protect residents from coming into contact with dioxins, furans and other harmful pollutants in the flood plain. In coming years, Dow and the EPA will complete a full and complete cleanup of the Tittabawassee and Saginaw rivers.

Dioxins are furans are chemical byproducts of combustion. Dow has acknowledged releasing the chemical into the Tittabawassee River from the 1930s to the 1970s.

Anyone wishing to comment in person can attend a meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Saginaw Valley State University’s Curtiss Hall, 7400 Bay in Kochville Township.

Earlier that day, EPA and Michigan Department of Environmental Quality representatives are hosting an informal session to speak with residents from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday at the Dow Memorial Library, 1710 W. Saint Andrews in Midland.

To comment remotely, use the online form, email Krause.Patricia@epa.gov, fax 312-697-2568, or send written comments to Patricia Krause, Superfund Community Involvement Coordinator, US EPA Region 5, 77 W. Jackson Blvd. (SI-7J), Chicago, IL 60604-3590. Comments must be postmarked by Aug. 31.

Anyone with questions can contact Krause at 800-621-8431, ext. 69506 or directly at 312-886-9506.


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.