Back Up NextTittabawassee River Watch   www.trwnews.net
WB01727_.gif (697 bytes)

TRW Archives 2007 3rd quarter 07/01/07 - 09/30/07
WB01727_.gif (697 bytes)
09/28/07 Tittabawassee River EPA Dredging Pollution Reports

On June 27, 2007, U.S. EPA ordered The Dow Chemical Company (Dow) to negotiate an Administrative Order on Consent, to address removal of extremely elevated levels of dioxin-contaminated sediment within Reach D of the Tittabawassee River near Midland, Michigan.  Dow contractors mobilized to the site on July 9, 2007.  Dow agreed to the terms of the Order and on July 12, 2007, the Order was signed by the Regional Administrator and Dow.

Below are the links to latest EPA "Pollution" reports which summarize the progress made so far on reach D, J-K, and O:

bullet Reach D as of  September 28
bullet The Site covers the area in the vicinity of, an historic, 1,200 foot-long, water discharge flume containing approximately 15,000 cubic yards of dioxin-contaminated sediment and bottom deposits.  The site is generally bounded by the Dow Revetment Groundwater Interception System (RGIS) sheet piling along the northeast bank of the Tittabawassee River and a line of old sheet piling constructed in the 1930s-1940s and varying from 5 to 40 feet distant from the bank.  The entire removal area is located upstream of the Dow Dam.  The historic water discharge flume was, at one time, connected to an outfall at the Midland Plant
bulletReach J-K as of September 28
bullet The Site is located in over-bank areas on the northeast side of the Tittabawassee River, approximately 3.6 miles downstream of the confluence of the Chippewa and Tittabawassee Rivers and located within The Dow property bounded to the northeast by a wetland with Saginaw Road to the northeast beyond the wetland, the Caldwell boat launch to the South, and to the west by the east channel bank of the Tittabawassee River, in Midland County, Michigan.

Remedial action includes the planting of over 400 trees.
 
bulletThe Site includes two areas of focus.  The first consists of buried, post-industrial deposits immediately adjacent to the River and extending at least 75 feet inland, near the southern end of Reach J and extending through the southern end of Reach K (the “Levee Area”).  The second area consists of high and low terraces, and includes wetlands, that occupy most of the Reach J/K over-bank area and are subject to sediment deposition during flood conditions.
bullet Reach O as of September 28
bullet The Site known as “Reach O of the Tittabawassee River Superfund Site,” is an approximately 1,300 foot-long point bar extending approximately 50 to 100 feet into the Tittabawassee River and situated parallel to the northeast bank of the Tittabawassee River, approximately 6.1 miles downstream of the confluence of the Chippewa and Tittabawassee Rivers and located within, or immediately adjacent to, the Dow Chemical Company property located to the south of North Saginaw Road and to the west of North Orr Road, in Midland County, Michigan.
 

For additional information and past progress reports, click here

WB01727_.gif (697 bytes)
09/27/07
Lone Tree Council / TRW Dioxin Update

 I hesitated only briefly to use the Dioxin Update format to beg your attention to a less obvious aspects of the budget battle and our local contamination. Let me share some information with you prepared by people much smarter than myself. It is my sheer love and appreciation of this state's natural resources that I ask you to read on. Folks this is about our Great Lakes........and I submit to you any legislator who thinks funding of Great Lakes protection is not a priority deserves to be booted in the next election.

 

Water quality is a public health issue and it is a huge economic issue. Tourism is our third leading industry, it is incumbent on clean water, beaches and fish. Look at Saginaw Bay, muck, dioxin, sewage, phragmities, fecal material.........monitoring, investigation, enforcement and cleanup are not free. DNR and DEQ should not be on the chopping block. They have taken enough hits.

 

Our legacy, like our history, should be rich in stories and experiences with these lakes. Report after report demonstrate declining water quality, closed beaches, increasing issues with invasive species, toxic build up,..............

 

Are the lakes a priority for you? Click on the  link  below and then let the Governor and your legislators know you stand with our great Great  lakes.

 

 

Michigan's Great Outdoors suffering from budget cuts 

 

The following was pilfered from Dave Dempsey's blog  http://daviddempsey.typepad.com/

 
The Department of Natural Resources and Department of Environmental Quality have suffered a 62 percent decline in funding since 2001. This decline is not at all proportionate to overall declines in      statewide funds: for the same period, total general fund spending dropped only 6 percent. Please go to the Michigan League of Conservation Voters and read more.

http://www.michiganlcvedfund.org/

 snip:

In Saginaw, increased budget cuts to the DEQ would have consequences for local citizens.  "The most pervasive toxic contamination in the state threatens Lake Huron. The DEQ has worked five years to bring the responsible party, the Dow Chemical Company, to a point where some dioxins and other toxics are being removed. What happens if the DEQ's budget is cut again?  What happens to our rivers, our lakes, our drinking water, our fisheries, if our first line of defense is hamstrung by budget cuts," said Lone Tree Council Chairperson Terry Miller.  "And the DEQ's Saginaw Bay Coastal Initiative, an effort to deal with the shoreline muck, invasive species, and sewer overflows -- do we just tell people to hold their noses and hope?"

snip:

Howard Tanner, former Director of the DNR expressed his concern over the report's conclusions.   "Michigan was once a leader on conservation and environmental protection of our vast natural resources.   Somehow that trend has been reversed and our leadership in conservation has been tarnished.   It is up to our leaders in Lansing to work together to return to our once proud legacy of environmental stewardship by properly funding the DNR and DEQ."

Michelle Hurd Riddick

Lone Tree Council

WB01727_.gif (697 bytes)
09/23/07
Tittabawassee River EPA Dredging Pollution Reports

On June 27, 2007, U.S. EPA ordered The Dow Chemical Company (Dow) to negotiate an Administrative Order on Consent, to address removal of extremely elevated levels of dioxin-contaminated sediment within Reach D of the Tittabawassee River near Midland, Michigan.  Dow contractors mobilized to the site on July 9, 2007.  Dow agreed to the terms of the Order and on July 12, 2007, the Order was signed by the Regional Administrator and Dow.

Below are the links to latest EPA "Pollution" reports which summarize the progress made so far on reach D, J-K, and O:

bullet Reach D as of  September 20
bullet The Site covers the area in the vicinity of, an historic, 1,200 foot-long, water discharge flume containing approximately 15,000 cubic yards of dioxin-contaminated sediment and bottom deposits.  The site is generally bounded by the Dow Revetment Groundwater Interception System (RGIS) sheet piling along the northeast bank of the Tittabawassee River and a line of old sheet piling constructed in the 1930s-1940s and varying from 5 to 40 feet distant from the bank.  The entire removal area is located upstream of the Dow Dam.  The historic water discharge flume was, at one time, connected to an outfall at the Midland Plant
bulletReach J-K as of September 21
bullet The Site is located in over-bank areas on the northeast side of the Tittabawassee River, approximately 3.6 miles downstream of the confluence of the Chippewa and Tittabawassee Rivers and located within The Dow property bounded to the northeast by a wetland with Saginaw Road to the northeast beyond the wetland, the Caldwell boat launch to the South, and to the west by the east channel bank of the Tittabawassee River, in Midland County, Michigan.

Remedial action includes the planting of over 400 trees.
 
bulletThe Site includes two areas of focus.  The first consists of buried, post-industrial deposits immediately adjacent to the River and extending at least 75 feet inland, near the southern end of Reach J and extending through the southern end of Reach K (the “Levee Area”).  The second area consists of high and low terraces, and includes wetlands, that occupy most of the Reach J/K over-bank area and are subject to sediment deposition during flood conditions.
bullet Reach O as of September 21
bullet The Site known as “Reach O of the Tittabawassee River Superfund Site,” is an approximately 1,300 foot-long point bar extending approximately 50 to 100 feet into the Tittabawassee River and situated parallel to the northeast bank of the Tittabawassee River, approximately 6.1 miles downstream of the confluence of the Chippewa and Tittabawassee Rivers and located within, or immediately adjacent to, the Dow Chemical Company property located to the south of North Saginaw Road and to the west of North Orr Road, in Midland County, Michigan.
 

For additional information and past progress reports, click here

WB01727_.gif (697 bytes)
09/15/07 Loss of Community Identity

Here we go again.  One of today's headlines was the announcement that The Dow Chemical Company will now be the major sponsor for The Bay City River Roar every summer.  By doing so, the event will now be called The Dow River Roar.
 
Huh?
 
It's fine and dandy if Dow wants to contribute money to that event, but why must it now be named after the company?  For $35,000, it appears Bay City was willing to sell the name of one of it's major summer events.  It has been The Bay City River Roar for 20 years.  That's pretty sad.
 
Flashback to about, what, 3 years ago....
 
Yes, you all know what I'm talking about.  Even today when the subject is brought up, people from all walks of life in Saginaw that I talk to roll their eyes in disgust at the mention of The Saginaw Civic Center, now known as The Dow Event Center and referred to as "The Dow".
 
Yes, Saginaw sold the name of our event center to Dow Chemical as well for $250,000 a year.  Just the name mind you, not the building itself.  But now, every event held in our event center has Dow mentioned in the story or event.  Not Saginaw.  What ever happened to Saginaw?
 
Pick up our local Saginaw newspaper on any given day lately, and I swear some days there are more articles about Midland than about Saginaw County.  Midland has their own paper.  If I want to read about Midland, I can pick up one of their papers.
 
Has anyone also noticed that just about every other event held in the Tri-cities lately has Dow as a sponsor as well?  Again, there is nothing at all wrong with the company's generosity in wanting to contribute to local events, they have a lot of money to work with. 
 
But I want to know where Dow was for the past 100 years they have been operating in Midland.  Up until about 5 years ago, most of us only knew Dow as that company up in the polluted city of Midland that smells, and has all the buildings and events named after them.  So what happened 5 years ago to produce such a sudden interest in Bay City and Saginaw after 100 years?
 
I think you know the answer.
 
I just hope that the struggling communities of Bay City and Saginaw don't lose site of who we are.  Stop selling our names.  As we all know, there is a price, a certain loyalty expected from a company for such generosity.  I for one, want no part of becoming "Stepfordville" aka Midland.

Kathy Henry

WB01727_.gif (697 bytes)
09/14/07 Restoring Great Lakes would reap region $50 Billion windfall

A report published by the Brookings Institute September 5, 2007 titled "Great Lakes cleanup could generate $50 billion windfall states "(Investing in cleanup) makes tremendous sense in terms of the economic strategy for our region and our country.  These restoration activities aren't just nice things to do for the environment". 

The report concludes that increased residential property values are the primary contributor to the windfall.  An additional $30 billion would be gained due to new job related activities.

Local officials are concentrating on scaring the public into stopping the clean up.   Why?

Click here for the Detroit News coverage of the report or visit http://www.healthylakes.org to view the report.

WB01727_.gif (697 bytes)
09/14/07
Tittabawassee River EPA Dredging Pollution Reports

On June 27, 2007, U.S. EPA ordered The Dow Chemical Company (Dow) to negotiate an Administrative Order on Consent, to address removal of extremely elevated levels of dioxin-contaminated sediment within Reach D of the Tittabawassee River near Midland, Michigan.  Dow contractors mobilized to the site on July 9, 2007.  Dow agreed to the terms of the Order and on July 12, 2007, the Order was signed by the Regional Administrator and Dow.

Below are the links to 3 EPA "Pollution" reports which summarize the progress made so far on reach D, J-K, and O:

bullet Reach D as of  September 12
bullet The Site covers the area in the vicinity of, an historic, 1,200 foot-long, water discharge flume containing approximately 15,000 cubic yards of dioxin-contaminated sediment and bottom deposits.  The site is generally bounded by the Dow Revetment Groundwater Interception System (RGIS) sheet piling along the northeast bank of the Tittabawassee River and a line of old sheet piling constructed in the 1930s-1940s and varying from 5 to 40 feet distant from the bank.  The entire removal area is located upstream of the Dow Dam.  The historic water discharge flume was, at one time, connected to an outfall at the Midland Plant
bulletReach J-K as of September 13
bullet The Site is located in over-bank areas on the northeast side of the Tittabawassee River, approximately 3.6 miles downstream of the confluence of the Chippewa and Tittabawassee Rivers and located within The Dow property bounded to the northeast by a wetland with Saginaw Road to the northeast beyond the wetland, the Caldwell boat launch to the South, and to the west by the east channel bank of the Tittabawassee River, in Midland County, Michigan.

The Site includes two areas of focus.  The first consists of buried, post-industrial deposits immediately adjacent to the River and extending at least 75 feet inland, near the southern end of Reach J and extending through the southern end of Reach K (the “Levee Area”).  The second area consists of high and low terraces, and includes wetlands, that occupy most of the Reach J/K over-bank area and are subject to sediment deposition during flood conditions.
bullet Reach O as of September 13
bullet The Site known as “Reach O of the Tittabawassee River Superfund Site,” is an approximately 1,300 foot-long point bar extending approximately 50 to 100 feet into the Tittabawassee River and situated parallel to the northeast bank of the Tittabawassee River, approximately 6.1 miles downstream of the confluence of the Chippewa and Tittabawassee Rivers and located within, or immediately adjacent to, the Dow Chemical Company property located to the south of North Saginaw Road and to the west of North Orr Road, in Midland County, Michigan.
 

For additional information and past progress reports, click here

WB01727_.gif (697 bytes)
09/12/07
EPA has had enough, pulling out of current mediation process

The United States Region 5 Environmental Protection Agency has declared the current mediation process between
 Dow Chemical and the State of Michigan broken and is pulling out of the process. 

"EPA believes a more open and transparent process is the best way to make important decisions that will affect
the future health and vitality of the watershed for the people of Michigan and the United States," said Regional
Administrator Mary A. Gade. "Despite the best intentions of all involved, the current process is not working as
effectively as it should and it is time to consider a new approach."

Citizens were denied an open and transparent process back in 2005
 when Lt. Governor John Cherry signed the infamous "framework" agreement. 

What's next?  Will the EPA propose or mandate a new plan, sue Dow for
the missing information, or just walk away?  We doubt it's the latter, stay
tuned.

Click here to view the entire EPA press release.

WB01727_.gif (697 bytes)
09/06/07
Fir
st dioxin-contaminated soil removed from Tittabawassee River !

Local TV station WJRT TV reports that the 1st  load of an estimated 15,000 cubic yards of dioxin contaminated soil has been removed from the Reach D section of river sediment located in the Dow Chemical plant.  This is great news!  Reach D is a 1,200 foot section of river located entirely on Dow Chemical property, only 114,000 feet remain to complete the cleanup.  Click here for the latest EPA Reach D progress report

WB01727_.gif (697 bytes)
09/05/07
Tittabawassee River EPA Dredging Pollution Reports

On June 27, 2007, U.S. EPA ordered The Dow Chemical Company (Dow) to negotiate an Administrative Order on Consent, to address removal of extremely elevated levels of dioxin-contaminated sediment within Reach D of the Tittabawassee River near Midland, Michigan.  Dow contractors mobilized to the site on July 9, 2007.  Dow agreed to the terms of the Order and on July 12, 2007, the Order was signed by the Regional Administrator and Dow.

Below are the links to 2 EPA "Pollution" reports which summarize the progress made so far on reach O and J-K:

bullet Reach O as of  September 2
bulletReach J-K as of September 2

WB01727_.gif (697 bytes)
08/31/07
EPA Issues Demand for Midland Dioxin Data

 

THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE

BELOW IS A  PRESS RELEASE FROM EPA . THE AGENCY IS ASKING  THE CITY OF MIDLAND TO RELEASE SAMPLING DATA FOR THE PAST TWO YEARS WITHIN THE CITY OF MIDLAND. THIS INFORMATION IS PUBLIC AND SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN KEPT FROM THE PUBLIC.

 

 

 

CONTACT:     Karen Thompson, 312-353-8547, thompson.karen@epa.gov

                             

           

For Immediate Release                                  No. 07-OPA151

 

EPA ISSUES DEMAND FOR MIDLAND DIOXIN SAMPLING DATA

(Chicago - Aug. 31, 2007) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 today issued a request for information to the city of Midland, Mich., for all dioxin sampling data taken within the city in 2006 and 2007. 

 

The city of Midland has information that would give EPA a more complete picture of Dow Chemical Co.’s dioxin contamination in that area.  EPA has also sent information requests to two other entities that hold relevant information.

 

“It appears that the data is obscured by an unusual double blind system that EPA has been unable to obtain voluntarily from the city of Midland,” said EPA Region 5 Superfund Division Director Richard Karl.  “The city holds the key to the data and we’re requiring them to provide it.”  

 

Today’s request is part of a larger investigation of dioxin contamination in the Midland area.  In mid-August, EPA issued two requests to Dow asking for  information on off-site and on-site dioxin sampling conducted by Dow and more extensive data on numerous other hazardous materials produced at the Dow Midland plant.   

 

Dow began a dioxin cleanup in three hot spots of the Tittabawassee River as a result of EPA orders in late June.  Those cleanups are expected to be completed this year and set the stage for additional work downriver.

 

The Dow facility is a 1,900-acre chemical manufacturing plant located in Midland, Mich.  Dioxins and furans were byproducts from the manufacture of chlorine-based products.  Past waste disposal practices, fugitive emissions and incineration at Dow have resulted in on- and off-site dioxin and furan contamination. 

 

# # #

 

WB01727_.gif (697 bytes)
08/27/07
Tittabawassee and Saginaw river
fish consumption still a hazard

The Michigan Department of Community Health has released a report of its "Fish Consumption Survey of People Fishing and Harvesting Fish from the Saginaw Bay Watershed." The final report is available at www.michigan.gov/mdch-toxics. Funding from the Saginaw Bay Watershed Initiative Network made the survey possible.

The department asked people fishing on the Tittabawassee, Saginaw and Shiawassee rivers and Saginaw Bay if they were aware of and used the advisory. The department also asked them what fish they were catching and eating and use the information to improve the advisory and increase public awareness of safe consumption of locally caught fish.

One troubling finding of the survey is that many people are eating carp, catfish and white bass that contain high levels of dioxins and other environmental contaminants. The department recommends against eating carp or catfish from the Tittabawassee and Saginaw rivers, and to extremely limit consumption of white bass. There are similar recommendations for eating fish from the bay. Walleye are less contaminated. River sediments and eroding floodplain soils have created dioxin and other contaminants in the fish.

These findings are a concern, considering that the University of Michigan Dioxin Exposure Study has shown that eating fish from the rivers and bay is linked to higher levels of dioxins in humans. The study shows some people may be eating more fish than the people who were part of the study.

Until dioxins and other contaminants are removed from river sediments and upland soils, eating certain fish from these waters will continue to pose a hazard. The department is working with local community groups in Saginaw to increase awareness of the advisory and safe consumption of locally caught fish. The advisory is available at www.michigan.gov/mdch  or by calling (800) 648-6942.

T.J. Bucholz

Public Information Officer
Michigan Department of Public Health
Lansing

Click here to view "Fish consumption survey of people fishing and harvesting fish from Saginaw Bay Watershed 06/14/07"

WB01727_.gif (697 bytes)
08/25/07
Dow deletes agent orange details from Wikipedia

Who do you trust?

Excerpt from Forbes 8/15/07 article

"... someone on a Dow Chemical computer deleted details of the company's development of birth defect-inducing Agent Orange and the continuing controversy around the Bhopal disaster, in which Union Carbide, a firm that Dow later acquired, was responsible for the death of as many as 22,000 Indians. "  ... "Wikipedia has always been a truth tool," says Michael Fertik, founder of the online PR firm Reputation Defender. He argues that companies should have known better than blatantly to skew information on a site that tracks IP addresses and closely monitors articles for spin. ...   "It's our policy never to delete anything from Wikipedia," Fertik says. "People have been aware for a long time about who's doing what on the site, and changes are observed very closely. If you get in the business of deleting this or that, you can easily get in a flame war with the whole community."

To read the entire article go to http://www.forbes.com and search for "wikipeida"

WB01727_.gif (697 bytes)
08/22/07
Lone Tree Council / TRW Dioxin Update

bullet

Petitioned Health Consultation on the Saginaw River
bullet

It's been awhile but we did hear the our petitioned health consultation to ATSDR ( Agency for Toxics Substance and Disease Registry) may be completed by Michigan Department of Community Health and submitted to the agency for their comments by summers end. The petitioners, 20 plus residents, two physicians and several environmental groups petitioned ATSDR and MDCH for a public health assessment for the following reasons ....

bullet

Summary of DEQ/DOW meeting August 9th
bullet Hot Spot
bullet City of Midland
bullet is keeping secreted away with the law firm of Miller Canfield data on soil sampling/locations in the city. 
bullet U of M Study
bullet The regulatory agencies have yet to receive the requested data from Dr. Garabrant's U of M Exposure Investigation. This is the data requested 18 months ago....acknowledged the study data has not gone through the rigors of peer reviewed journals. (Which has not stopped Dow from marketing it to every elected/public official  who will listen to them)
bullet Saginaw River New High
bullet 32,000 ppt was found in the 6th street turning basin in a bed load sample- meaning the dioxin was at the sediment surface and mobile. Concentrations varied between non-detect and 32,000 ppt.
bullet Sediment Trap Studies
bullet "The Saginaw River is a significant source of dioxin to the Great Lakes.  The floodplain soils as well as the sediments within the watershed are highly contaminated with dioxins and furans.  Much, if not all of this contamination is thought to have originated in Midland.  Throughout much of the twentieth century, hydraulic forces within the watershed have dispersed these contaminants downstream throughout the Tittabawassee and Saginaw River Watershed.  Currently dioxin and furan contaminated sediments can be found extending into Lake Huron. "
bulletSampling of the middle Tittabawassee River
bulletDow is gaining access
bulletMDEQ use of 90 ppt is supported by EPA
bullet "In addition, U.S. EPA believes that MDEQ’s default dioxin cleanup criteria of 90 ppt is entirely consistent with U.S. EPA's residential cleanup level when both levels are normalized to the same target risk goal.

bullet A Journal, TOXICOLOGY states dioxins most potent in humans
bullet

Comparison of the 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD)-induced CYP1A1 gene expression profile in lymphocytes from mice, rats, and humans: Most potent induction in humans.  

bullet Dioxin in Georgetown MA being cleaned
bullet

Georgetown Massachusetts has soil contaminated with 4 ppt to 100 ppt of dioxin in a junkyard and the state’s DEP (Department of Environmental Protection) and the Conservation Commission are insistent it be cleaned up to protect the environment and water supply. Our concentrations sediments and soils exceed 80,000 ppt and have been flushed down river into yards, parks, farm fields and out to Lake Huron for decades.

Click here to view the entire update

WB01727_.gif (697 bytes)
08/15/07
Tittabawassee River EPA Dredging Pollution Reports

On June 27, 2007, U.S. EPA ordered The Dow Chemical Company (Dow) to negotiate an Administrative Order on Consent, to address removal of extremely elevated levels of dioxin-contaminated sediment within Reach D of the Tittabawassee River near Midland, Michigan.  Dow contractors mobilized to the site on July 9, 2007.  Dow agreed to the terms of the Order and on July 12, 2007, the Order was signed by the Regional Administrator and Dow.

Below are the links to 2 EPA "Pollution" reports which summarize the progress made so far on reach D and J-K:

bullet Reach D as of  August 10
bulletMap of Reach D area - River sediment
bulletReach J-K as of August 10
bullet Map of Reach J-K area - Wetlands - see page 37 Attachment A

WB01727_.gif (697 bytes)
08/13/07
Thank you

I just wanted to take a quick moment to thank you for all the time and energy you have put into your website. I live in Cleveland and just wrote a paper titled Midland, Michigan: Dow Chemical's Personal Waste Land. Your website was a God send while doing research. It's hard to find reliable sources on the internet and through links on your site I was able to complete my research without having to search web results.
I wish you all the best in your cause.
 

Thank you,
 
Tonya Moening

WB01727_.gif (697 bytes)
08/9/07
MDEQ Dioxin Meeting Tonight

The Department of Environmental Quality and The Dow Chemical Company are
hosting the next quarterly Midland/Saginaw/Bay City (Tri-Cities) Dioxin
Community Meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 9, 2007, at the
Horizons Conference Center, 6200 State Street, Saginaw.  This meeting is
open to the public.  The press release and agenda for the meeting are
available at:

 

http://www.michigan.gov/deq/0,1607,7-135-3308-173383--,00.html and

http://www.michigan.gov/documents/deq/deq-whm-hwp-dow-commMeetingAgenda2-8-09-07_204971_7.pdf

 

Supporting materials are available at the following location:

 

http://www.michigan.gov/deq/0,1607,7-135-3312_4118_4240-53424--,00.html 


Cheryl Howe
Environmental Engineering Specialist
Hazardous Waste Management Unit
Hazardous Waste Section
517-373-9881/517-373-4797 Fax

WB01727_.gif (697 bytes)
08/9/07
Comments on D
ioxin Exposure, Richard A. Maltby, AICP

DIOXIN EXPOSURE by Richard A. Maltby, AICP August 3, 2007

While reading Midland County Environmental Health Services Director Chuck Lichon’s article, “Dioxin: A difficult-to-define molecule entangled in hypothetical fears” (The Bay City Times, July 31, 2007), we should all be aware that the Michigan Department of Community Health continues to recognize the danger of exposure to dioxins.

For example, the state Department of Community Health says: “Not all dioxins have the same toxicity or ability to cause illness and adverse health effects. The most toxic chemical in the group is 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-para-dioxin (2,3,7,8-TCDD). Because it is the most toxic, 2,3,7,8-TCCD is the standard to which other dioxins are compared. The levels of other dioxins measured in the environment are converted to a ‘2,3,7,8-TCDD’ equivalent concentration based on how toxic they are compared to 2,3,7,8-TCDD. These converted dioxin levels are then added together to determine the total equivalent (TEQ) concentration of the dioxins in a sample.”

The state Department of Community Health also reported that it is not known whether people exposed to low levels of dioxins will experience the same health effects as seen in animal studies.

However, based on the available information, dioxins are believed to have the potential to cause a wide range of adverse effects in humans. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has characterized the mixture of dioxins to which people are usually exposed as “likely human carcinogens.” The EPA has also characterized 2,3,7,8-TCDD as a “human carcinogen.” The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services lists 2,3,7,8-TCDD as a substance “known to be a human carcinogen.”

Furthermore, the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences recently informed us that 2,3,7,8-TCDD is among the most toxic anthropogenic substance ever identified. Animal studies have demonstrated potent effects of TCDD, including tumor development, birth defects, reproductive abnormalities, immune dysfunction, dermatological disorders, and plethora of other adverse effects. Because of their persistence in the environment and their bioaccumulative potential, TCDD and other dioxins, are now ubiquitous environmental pollutants and are detected at low concentrations in virtually all organisms at higher-trophic levels in the food chain, including humans.

Inadvertent exposures of humans through chemical waste byproducts, industrial accidents, occupational exposures to commercial compounds (primarily phenoxyacid herbicides), and through dietary pathways have led to a wide range of body burdens of TCDD and other dioxins and numerous epidemiological studies to a variety of adverse effects in humans. As a practicing professional urban and regional environmental resources planner for 38 years, I am inclined to say it would be wise to take precaution with exposure to dioxins and other environmental pollutants than to be sorry.

WB01727_.gif (697 bytes)
08/09/07
Tittabawassee River EPA Dredging Pollution Reports

On June 27, 2007, U.S. EPA ordered The Dow Chemical Company (Dow) to negotiate an Administrative Order on Consent, to address removal of extremely elevated levels of dioxin-contaminated sediment within Reach D of the Tittabawassee River near Midland, Michigan.  Dow contractors mobilized to the site on July 9, 2007.  Dow agreed to the terms of the Order and on July 12, 2007, the Order was signed by the Regional Administrator and Dow.

Below are the links to 3 EPA "Pollution" reports which summarize the progress made so far:

bulletAs of July 19
bulletAs of July 27
bulletAs of August 6

WB01727_.gif (697 bytes)
07/26/07
Lone Tree Council / TRW Dioxin Update

bullet Photos of  Reach D contamination
bullet DEQ Directors Chester's Comments
bullet Comments on Dow's Delayed, Deficient Work
bullet Some Good News
bullet Dow/DEQ public meeting

Click here to view the entire update

WB01727_.gif (697 bytes)
07/25/07 
DEQ Director responds to Saginaw News editorial

I was disappointed to read The Saginaw News editorial that criticized the progress being made by the Department of Environmental Quality to move the dioxin cleanup in the Midland and Saginaw areas forward. ("Finally, EPA is flexing muscle," July 5)

Much of the work done over the past one to two years has focused on gathering an immense amount of data, and while this work may not be noticeable to the public on a daily basis, it is absolutely vital in helping our agency and Dow Chemical Co. understand the scope of the contamination problem and how we can best address it.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently did issue removal orders to Dow, effectively telling the company that it needs to accelerate plans to remove some of the most highly contaminated areas in the Tittabawassee River. What was missed in the editorial, however, was that this would not have been possible without the work already completed by the state.

In fact, the work that began this month to remove a section of that contaminated sediment from the river already was scheduled to begin prior to EPA's orders.

As the editorial suggests, Dow did submit a cleanup plan Dec. 1, 2005, that was intended to provide the next steps in the cleanup process. Despite the state DEQ providing Dow with substantial detailed guidance on exactly what needed to be addressed, its proposal was found to be so deficient by both the Department of Environmental Quality and EPA that we simply had to request an entirely new cleanup plan. Dow's plans lacked detail in determining the size and scope of the contaminated area, the necessary follow-up investigations and did not even address human health risk assessment studies. Furthermore, the company's plan provided a schedule that would not have remediation begin until 2017 even under the best case scenario. Clearly, this was unacceptable to both the DEQ and EPA, and the major revisions that would be required were clearly detailed in the DEQ's 43 pages of comments sent back to Dow.

Again, it was not a simple "no" as the editorial stated.

Rather than wait for a new work plan and miss the 2006 sampling season, the DEQ required Dow to submit sampling plans for the Upper Tittabawassee and the city of Midland. A process was approved quickly and generated 3,800 samples that were analyzed for dioxins and furans within the floodplain and river sediments and 400 samples from the city of Midland. This is the process that ultimately led to the cleanup actions that began this month, and the investigation of the next 11 miles of the Tittabawassee River and floodplain will continue this summer.

The DEQ and Dow have co-hosted quarterly community meetings where all of this information has been presented to the public, and we would welcome your assistance in sharing this information with those who cannot attend. The DEQ intends to continue our work with the local community, Dow and the EPA as we make meaningful progress on this complex issue.

Steven E. Chester

Director, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.
WB01727_.gif (697 bytes)
07/24/07 
EPA website describes 1200 foot cleanup site- only 114,900 ft to go

https://www.epaosc.net/tittabawasseeDioxinReachD






WB01727_.gif (697 bytes)
07/12/07 
MDEQ responds to EPA criticism of Dow's RIWP

The MDEQ and the EPA are in disagreement over some of the EPA's critique (see next story for details) of Dow's  Remedial Investigation Work Plans (RIWP)  Tittabawassee River cleanup process:

 

Many of the issues raised concern the GeoMorph process which attempts to predict contaminated areas.  Both the MDEQ and the EPA expect Dow to conduct additional sampling in the areas identified by the process as priority cleanup areas to validate the the plan.  So far, this has not happened.  In our opinion, the disagreement hinges on the attitudes of the players:

bulletDelay: Dow is reluctant to perform additional sampling and dragging it's feet whenever possible
bulletPretty Please: The MDEQ is asking for samples under the conditions of their "Framework" agreement with Dow
bulletDo it: The EPA is mandating them to comply. 

Not mentioned in the MDEQ response is any reference to all of the other toxic chemicals discovered and mentioned in the EPA document.  What are the plans of the MDEQ to address the silicon, Octachlorostyrene , Hexachlorobenzene, Aldrin, Dieldrin, Fhloradane, DDT, Mirex, and Toxaphene? 

As residents who live in Dow's toxic soup, we really don't care which organization makes Dow accountable so long as it happens soon.  We appreciate the efforts of most of the MDEQ's staff, they are dedicated professionals who are being prevented from doing their job by backroom politics and are fighting with both hands tied behind their back.  Anything the EPA can do to move this process along is a good thing.

Click here to read the MDEQ's response in detail

WB01727_.gif (697 bytes)
07/11/07  READ THIS - Unbelievable, shocking, it isn't just dioxin anymore!!

Speechless.....

A EPA document recently obtained by the Lone Tree Council exposes the TRUE state of the Tittabawassee River and Dows attempts to repeatedly delay addressing the problems.  It's not just dioxin any more folks

It seems we are a true silicon valley now thanks to Dow Corning. Silicon has been found in every soil sample taken.  Not to mention another 29+ dangerous chemicals including Octachlorostyrene , Hexachlorobenzene, Aldrin, Dieldrin, Fhloradane, DDT, Mirex, and Toxaphene. 

But lets not forget about the unprecedented levels of dioxin. The document offers valid scientific references which counter almost every lie Dow has purported as "Sound Science" over the last 5 years.

The contents are mind blowing and the implications staggering. This is a must read for everyone, please download it, print it and pass around (it's 44 pages but everyone of them contains important myth busting facts).   Politicians should pay close attention, the cats out of the bag.

Below are a few of the key points of the document, many more are contained in the document with supporting evidence.

bulletMost of Dow's proposed Scope of Work (SOW) and Remedial Investigation Work Plans (RIWP) are deficient and should not be approved by the MDEQ.
bulletDow is not complying with it's RCRA license
bulletDow's deviation from the EPA's guidelines concerning Human Health Risk Assessments are unacceptable.
bulletDow's deviation from the EPA's guidelines concerning Ecological Risk Assessments are unacceptable.
bulletDow's lack of progress in completing their Immediate Response Actions (IRA) is unacceptable.
bulletDow did not include any of the several hundred hazardous chemicals and byproducts produced in it's plants history, the EPA wants a revised RIWP which includes them.
bulletDow demonstrates a pattern of missed deadlines and incomplete corrective action document submittals to the MDEQ, this is a violation of their RCRA License.
bulletDow has failed to report all environmental monitoring data and has inappropriately applied confidential status to much of the data.
bulletThe EPA has major concerns about the Geomorph studies which have many deficiencies and feels the process has not been fully proven.
bulletSilicon has been found present in all soil samples and could be an explanation for the unusual distribution of dioxin and furans in the environment.
bulletEPA believes the 1986 flood caused a release of hazardous chemicals from Dows waste water treatment facility.
bulletEPA is very concerned with 29 chemicals that have been found in the sediment and fish that have been produced by the Dow plant over the years.
bulletDow is manipulating chemical concentration data in it's studies.
bulletDow's Human Health Risk Assessment (HHRA) cite scientific literature in a very selective manner, ignoring recent cancer and other studies which offer contrary outcomes.
bulletThe Dow TCDD Worker study they cite so often is flawed and the outcome meaningless
bulletEPA considers Dow's selective citations to scientific literature unacceptable.
bulletEPA has significant concerns with human dioxin exposure through the food chain pathway.
bulletBecause of the risk to human health, the EPA considers Dows plans to do additional studies before taking remedial action unacceptable.
bulletThe University of Michigan needs to release the raw data from it's Dioxin Exposure study to the EPA and MDEQ.  This can be done without revealing the identity of the participants.
bulletThe EPA believes the University of Michigan  has not been cooperating in producing information to the EPA and MDEQ and therefore wants the MDEQ to investigate why.
bulletDow is not meetings it's time lines and needs to be held accountable in order to keep its RCRA license.

Below are a few snippets from the document:

Dow, however, is conducting its remedial investigation of the Saginaw Bay watershed without approved or enforceable compliance schedules in conflict with the terms and conditions of Dow’s RCRA Permit. ... U.S. EPA believes that risks to human health and the environment posed by the contamination of the Saginaw Bay watershed are so significant and widely distributed, that a risk assessment will unlikely provide site specific clean-up criteria that can be directly implemented at this site. ...  U.S. EPA has significant concerns with human health risks associated with dioxin exposure through the food chain pathway, especially for at-risk populations such as pregnant women, children, Native Americans, subsistence and sport hunters and fishermen. At sites as large and complex as the subject site, corrective measure technologies and their scope ... U.S. EPA is concerned that Dow’s ecological risk assessment (ERA) is inconsistent with current Agency guidance and the typically accepted methods for conducting such risk assessments. ... U.S. EPA does not believe that ecological risk has been adequately addressed by Dow in the revised RIWPs. ... This concerns U.S. EPA because it is known that individuals within a population can be adversely impacted by contaminants without observed population-level effects. ...  levels of dioxin and furan contamination in the Saginaw Bay watershed through the timely implementation of Interim Response Actions (IRAs) as required by Dow’s RCRA Permit. ... U.S. EPA believes that hazardous constituents are actively migrating downstream from Dow’s facility into Lake Huron. ...  U.S. EPA does not consider Dow’s description to be complete given the scope of Dow's chemical operations in Midland, Michigan. The limited information provided by Dow to MDEQ in the revised RIWPs is problematic. ... U.S. EPA believes that the record in this matter demonstrates a pattern by Dow of missed deadlines and the submittal of incomplete corrective action documents to MDEQ (see Dow Off-Site Corrective Action Activity Table below). U.S. EPA considers these actions by Dow to be inconsistent with the requirements of Dow’s RCRA License. ... Failure to Report all Environmental Monitoring Data and Improper Application of Confidential Status to Data ...  This ongoing failure to provide data within time frames specified in Dow’s RCRA permit continues despite the fact that Dow was issued a Notice of Violation (NOV) by MDEQ for a similar series of violations on September 19, 2005. ... U.S. EPA also has significant concerns with the agreement between the City of Midland and MDEQ to allow Dow to partially shield corrective action data gathered within the City of Midland from public disclosure. U.S. EPA considers the holding of what would normally be publicly available corrective action data in a confidential manner by a third party not subject to the terms and conditions of Dow’s RCRA License to be inconsistent with the recordkeeping and reporting requirements of Dow’s RCRA License. ... Nowhere within Section II.L (Recordkeeping and Reporting) does Dow’s RCRA License provide for the selective or partial reporting of data by Dow. ...  A fundamental component of the GeoMorph process, as explained by ATS, is real-time remediation. This component of GeoMorph is not being implemented and calls into question the value of the GeoMorph approach when applied at this site. ... U.S. EPA does not agree with the assertion that the GeoMorph process has been fully proven at this site. ...  While Dow has provided a relatively detailed history of Dow's historic chlorine production at Section 3.3.1.1 of the TR RIWP, Dow provides virtually no additional specific information, other than a list of products organized by decade(s), in the revised RIWPs concerning the many hazardous constituents potentially released by Dow to the Saginaw Bay watershed. U.S. EPA does not consider Dow’s description to be complete.  ... constituents from the Dow Corning facility may have potentially affected the distribution of contaminants from Dow’s Midland facility within the Saginaw Bay watershed. ... Dow’s characterization of the hazardous contamination in the Saginaw Bay watershed, therefore, will not be complete without an understanding of the historic operations and waste management practices of the Dow Corning facility whose operations were, and are, intertwined with those of Dow’s Midland facility. ... In 2004, the Superfund Innovative Technology Evaluation project conducted by the Battelle Memorial Institute identified silicone compounds in all of the soil samples taken from the TR. U.S. EPA believes the presence of silicones in the soils and sediments of the Saginaw Bay watershed to be unique and, therefore, could be an explanation for the unusual distribution of dioxins and furans in the subject environment.  ...  Dow does not provide a detailed discussion of the 1986 flood event on the Tittabawassee River and the potential release of contaminants to the river during that event. U.S. EPA is concerned with this event because U.S. EPA believes there may have been a release of hazardous constituents from Dow’s wastewater treatment facilities during this time period. If so, a detailed description of such events is warranted. ...  U.S. EPA is particularly concerned with the following PBTs, due to the fact that these chemicals have either: 1) been identified in fish tissue in the Saginaw Bay watershed; 2) are known by-products of one or more chemical production processes identified by Dow in the revised RIWPs as having occurred at its Midland, Michigan facility; and/or 3) U.S. EPA has reason to believe these PBTs may have been produced and released by Dow from its Midland, Michigan facility. ... For example, Dow repeatedly emphasizes that humans are less sensitive than rats to the effects of dioxin. Dow’s assertion ignores the recent paper by K. Nohara et al. (Toxicology 225: 204-213; 2006) which clearly shows that humans are the most sensitive species, as well as earlier work demonstrating that for multiple endpoints, there was similar sensitivity between animals and people. ...  Dow states that there are no studies of the reproductive effects of the PCDFs, which ignores the work of Hamm et al. (Toxicol. Sci. 74:182-191; 2003) showing that the 1998 WHO TEFs did an excellent job (within 2X) of predicting the reproductive effects. ...  Dow ignores some of the recent cancer studies showing that early life exposure may enhance the risk of cancer both in animals and humans (C. LaMartinierre et al. in rats; M. Warner et al. in the Seveso cohort).  ...  U.S. EPA is concerned that Dow may not be using the most appropriate dose metrics, which are very dependent upon response ...  The epidemiological studies of Dow "TCDD" workers used "controls" who were highly exposed to PCDFs (Collins et al, 2005), so it is inappropriate to say that Dow TCP and PCP workers had no increased cancer risk - their exposure was similar to the "controls." ...  Dow has proposed to conduct numerous studies to support a HHRA which could result in a higher clean-up criteria for dioxin than required by Part 201 of Michigan Act 451. U.S. EPA believes most if not all of these studies are unnecessary and will only result in lengthening the time frames for the completion of many of the components of the remedial investigation. ...  U.S. EPA also has significant concerns with human health risks associated with dioxin exposure through the food chain pathway, especially for at-risk populations such as pregnant women, children, subsistence hunters and fishers, and Native Americans ...  However, U.S. EPA has never stated or agreed that the use of PRA methodology for selecting chemical-specific dose-response factors is justified because ...  U.S. EPA does not believe that there is any need for Dow to conduct the extensive and time intensive additional site-specific studies currently grouped under the heading “Exposure Study Plans.” ... For example, a recent Michigan Department of Community Health study has identified potentially at-risk segments of the population in Saginaw and Bay City, Michigan which consume a significant amount of highly contaminated river bottom feeding fish (catfish and carp). Given the significant risks associated with exposure to dioxins, furans and other possible hazardous constituents from eating such fish, Dow’s proposal to continue to study such pathways before initiating any remedial actions is not acceptable. ... Dow’s proposal to undertake an extensive effort to re-evaluate the TEFs is unlikely to have any significant effect on the HHRA. ...  U.S. EPA recommends that MDEQ seek the production of any and all relevant information concerning the nature and extent of dioxin and furan contamination in the Saginaw Bay watershed obtained during or related to the UMDES from the University. ...  U.S. EPA recommends that MDEQ seek the production of information concerning Dow’s funding and contractual control over the UMDES from the University. ...  U.S. EPA recommends that MDEQ incorporate the following compliance schedule into any approval of the revised RIWPs, if Dow fails to timely provide a compliance schedule as required by their RCRA License. ...  U.S. EPA recommends that MDEQ require Dow to provide a separate enforceable IRA compliance schedule to be approved by MDEQ and incorporated into Dow’s RCRA License for addressing the currently identified TR dioxin hot spots. ....

EPA's list of chemicals of concern:

Aldrin/dieldrin

Benzo(a)pyrene {B(a)P}

Chlordane (Dow-Klor and Dowchlor)

DDT (+DDD+DDE)

Hexachlorobenzene (HCB)

Alkyl-lead

Mercury and mercury compounds

Mirex(Hexachloropentadiene)

Octachlorostyrene

Toxaphene

Cadmium and cadmium compounds

1,4-dichlorobenzene

3,3'-dichlorobenzidine

Dinitropyrene

Endrin

Heptachlor (+Heptachlor epoxide)

Hexachlorobutadiene (+Hexachloro-1,3-butadiene)

Hexachlorocyclohexane

4,4'-methylenebis(2-chloroaniline)

Pentachlorobenzene

Pentachlorophenol

Tetrachlorobenzene (1,2,3,4- and 1,2,4,5-)

Tributyl tin

[Plus PAHs as a group, including but not limited to]:

Anthracene

Benzo(a)anthracene

Benzo(g,h,i)perylene

Perylene

Phenanthrene

Click here to view the entire document

 WB01727_.gif (697 bytes)
07/09/07 
Lone Tree Council / TRW Dioxin Update

Removal of dioxin hotspots- AMEN!

bulletIt's taken five years but the removal of these sediments in Reach D is reason to celebrate. It is however only the first step, one of many, many steps needed to restore the river system in the Saginaw Bay Watershed. Savor the moment.
 

About the EPA Press Release

 
bulletThis past week EPA issued a press release announcing action being taken by the agency to compel Dow Chemical to proceed expeditiously with  the cleanup of dioxin hotspots along the Tittabawassee River.  It would appear DEQ and Dow had already agreed to proceed this coming week on one of the hotspots ( Reach D) before the EPA issued their orders. DEQ's press release can be found at http://www.michigan.gov/deq/0,1607,7-135--171694--,00.html.
 

Ripping into DEQ unwarranted

 
bulletThe Saginaw News editorial comment from Thursday July 5th was outrageous. Totally at a loss to explain where the SN editorial board gets their information.  While I respect their right to editorial license and commentary the Saginaw News has a responsibility to its readers to speak with some semblance of accuracy. Below are two of many outrageous comments from the editorial  followed by some information and perspective in bold print:
 
1" Apparently there has been no real sense of urgency here. Does it take four years for Dow to acquire all the various state permits and wrap up the required paperwork to close this deal, especially if the company has worked on it like the DEQ's Siamese Twin.  The delays are NOT due to four years of failure by the state to issue permits and wrapping up the required paperwork requires Dow Chemical to submit acceptable work plans to the state.  Section XI of Dow's  license lays out clearly and concisely what is expected of Dow Chemical. If fact the license was hammered out with Dow Chemical over a number years. 
 
DEQ hit the ground running in 2003 with a sense of urgency. When Dow realized in 2004 that DEQ was going to  enforce the license ( including soil testing in Midland) you remember what happened? Dow called out their legislators who threatened to gut DEQ's budget, eliminate the Hazardous Waste Division overseeing the cleanup and they went to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to threaten Governor Granholm with jobs.  Like Blanchard and Engler, Dow also got  what they wanted from Granholm…….to go behind closed doors for 8 months and derail the established process and  timeline for sampling, interim response activities and work plans. HUGE DELAY- that had nothing to do with permits.
 
In 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007 Dow Chemical submitted numerous plans to the DEQ which have been rejected by DEQ and EPA as deficient”, “incomplete” or “ critically deficient”. Memos and documents reveal Dow’s failure to follow the "corrective action process" , failure to follow established "scientific guidelines" and "regulatory guidelines"  as well as their (Dow) failure to submit to timelines, details, and public scrutiny. Again, nothing at all to do with permits.  Other memos detail Dow’s failure to send decision makers to meetings so that activities could advance. Others detail identify  Dow not sharing information with the regulatory agencies. 
 
 
A June 14th 2006 EPA document addressing Dow' penchant for studies states:
 
"The scientific basis for the proposed extensive (and time intensive) exposure studies, and bioavailability study does not appear to be legitimate.  Rather, these studies appear to be intended to delay the remediation process."  
 

How about this August 2005 memo from EPA:

 
"EPA and MDEQ have concerns with the manner in which Dow is conducting corrective action.   Concerns include:  apparently concealed data which was produced by unapproved studies conducted over the last 2 years (License violation); unrealistically short time frames for MDEQ to review work plans (Framework Violation); performing corrective action studies without approved work plans; and Dow’s unwillingness to meet with MDEQ to discuss work plans. "
 
" We're no apologists for Dow, which certainly isn't blameless in this matter. But in its defense it has done what DEQ has asked with no guidance from the state agency". Over the past few years Lone Tree Council has amassed thousands of pages of documents, emails, letters, memos and CD's giving detailed responses and guidance from DEQ to Dow Chemical. Many of these  in response to Dow's  chronically deficient work plans ........plans required by law in the corrective action license Dow signed in 2003. 

These documents, many obtained using the Freedom of Information Act clearly show DEQ and Dow have met over 150 times in the past three years in-group meetings or phone conferences.   From detailed handwritten notes, lengthy e-mails with attachments, to Power Points and algorithms, DEQ could not have given more guidance to Dow.  Dow's repeated failure to address their legal obligations is by design. 
 
 
This corrective action is resource intensive. Dow is unnecessarily monopolizing DEQ's  staff time and taxpayers dollars with their deficient work plans, delays and public manipulation of the cleanup process.  If DEQ is guilty of anything it is the failure  of the agency to right out the entire plan for Dow and then enforce it.  Leveling unfounded accusations at DEQ, as the Saginaw News  did, is being an apologist for Dow Chemical.  " No guidance from the state agency" is just an unfounded, baseless, untruth which plays well to the anti-regulatory, DEQ bashing faction in this community........and that's the only thing it plays to.

Click here to view the entire update

WB01727_.gif (697 bytes)
07/07/07 
Lone Tree Council / TRW Dioxin Update

Dow to begin cleanup work in Tittabawassee River

MDEQ Press Release 07/06/07
Contact:  Robert McCann (517) 241-7397
Agency: Environmental Quality


The Dow Chemical Company will begin work next week to remove a historic deposit of contaminated sediments in the Tittabawassee River, just upstream of the Dow Dam in Midland. The sediments are contaminated with high levels of dioxins and furans, chlorobenzenes, metals, and other materials.

A coffer dam will be constructed in the river to contain the materials and facilitate its removal, and boaters and fishermen are advised to maintain a safe distance from construction activities.

The Department of Environmental Quality and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a revised permit for Dow to construct the steel dam structure as a component of an Interim Response Activity that requires Dow to remove the contaminated material from the river. The permit was revised to address contamination that was found outside of the footprint of the original project area. In addition, Dow has also been constructing a mile and a half long pipeline and a sediment dewatering facility on the Dow plant site over the past several months. After dewatering, the sediments will be disposed of in the Dow Salzburg Road Landfill. The coffer dam will be removed at the end of the project.

The "Reach D" deposit of highly contaminated sediments was identified during the implementation of the corrective action sampling plan for the upper six miles of the Tittabawassee River during 2006, and the cleanup process was agreed upon prior to EPA's recent order. An additional eleven miles of the river, to the State Road Bridge in Saginaw County, is scheduled for sampling in 2007.

Editor's note: DEQ news releases are available on the department's Internet home page at www.michigan.gov/deq.

Click here to view other Dioxin Updates from the past

WB01727_.gif (697 bytes)

bulletSee newspaper articles for information dating back to January 2002.  Click here
bulletFor additional archived information, click here
 

hit counter for myspace

Locations of visitors to this page

WB01727_.gif (697 bytes)

Back Up Next  Back to the top   Site Map  www.trwnews.net