Almost the ENTIRE 22 mile stretch of the
River 100 year floodplain down river of the Midland Dow site is contaminated.
Dow's effluents then flow into and contaminate the Saginaw River, Saginaw Bay
and Lake Huron resulting in one of the most extensive and highly dioxin
contaminated sites in the country.
Tittabawassee River flows through East Central Michigan, USA in Saginaw &
Midland counties. The contaminated floodplain of the river is located in a 22 mile
segment downstream of the Dow Chemical Corp. world headquarters and manufacturing plant
located in the city of Midland, Michigan. Dioxin levels in the T.River
sediment have been found to be as high as 100,000 ppt TEQ. The safe
level for human contact is 90 ppt. The T.River connects to the Saginaw
River and then flows out to Saginaw Bay and Lake Huron. Other studies
indicate that the Saginaw River and the Saginaw Bay are also heavily
contaminated, Saginaw River sampling in 2007
revealed levels as high as 1,600,000 ppt TEQ.
Click on image to the left to view the sediment plume
from the Saginaw River as it reaches out into the
Saginaw Bay. Additional information on the Saginaw Bay can be found at the
end of this page.
ppt dioxin cells found along riverbank
For those unable to attend the November
dioxin quarterly meeting last month,
click here to view the transcript.
particularly disturbing discovery this past summer was an area of
Tittabawassee River bank located next to the old Dow 47 building in
Midland. This location is right next to the Loons baseball stadium, and
was slated to become a public park. However, Dow discovered some old
chloro-alkalide cells and rubble that was being used as riprap along the
river bank that were found to have very high levels of furans and other
compounds associated with them.
TEQ of 140,000ppt as well as high levels of
hexachlorobenzene, cadmium and some 5 herbicide type compounds were
found in the area.
This material was also found in the river
channel and is believed to have been an on going source of contamination
to the river. Under CERCLA orders from the EPA, the material was
removed late summer and fall of this year. Dow is now in the process of
trying to figure out how to cap this large hole in the river that was
made, and what to do about all of the other sediment contaminants
surrounding the site once the sheet piling is removed.
There is an ongoing investigation at other
areas adjacent to the plant where historic waste treatment ponds all had
outfalls to the river.
Lakes National Program Office Update At the February 9, 2006 Tri-County Dioxin Community Meeting, the DEQ
presented an update of the GLNPO study which presented a view of dioxin
sampling activities of the entire Saginaw Bay watershed. The
presentation made use of Google images superimposed with sampling data
comparing pre and post 2004 data. Click on the image above to see a
slide containing all of the current data points.
Distribution of Samples -212 total samples from 116 stations Floodplain 115, Shiawassee-22%, Saginaw-68%, Bay-10% Sediment 97, Shiawassee-33%, Saginaw-45%, Bay-22%
PRELIMINARY CONCLUSIONS 1) The Shiawassee River is not a significant contributor of Dioxin/Furans to
Saginaw. 2) The Saginaw River Floodplain is not as contaminated as the Tittabawassee
River Floodplain. 3) The highest TEQ concentrations, (up to 16,000 ppt TEQ) were found in the
Upper Saginaw River Sediments (non-navigational). 4) High levels (> 1000 ppt TEQ) were found in the Lower Saginaw River and west
portion of Saginaw Bay at depth.
The Tittabawassee flood plain is approximately 22 miles
long, up to 6000 feet wide (width is wild guess, based on DEQ mailing to any resident
within 3000' of river), and at least 15 inches deep (they did not measure any deeper).
If anyone knows the actual measurements, please let TRW know. Assuming
these measurements where accurate, up to 16,000 acres could be contaminated. Further
sampling will be required to determine the actual extent. Over 2000 citizens own
property in the flood plain. Samples have been taken from
Thomas, and Midland townships. To our knowledge, no sampling has
occurred in James
Many maps of the area are on-line. They are very large files take a while to
download if you have a slow modem connection. The 1st two links below are relatively
low quality, however they show the area. The other link will take you to the MDEQ
web site where you can download any quality of map you choose to wait for.
9/22/03 New dioxin test results
indicate contamination lies OUTSIDE the flood plain!
Today, MDEQ released preliminary results of
dioxin testing on a Tittabawasse River residents property located in Freeland.
The most frighting result was found literally at their back door.
TEQ was measured at the surface. This is almost 3 times the states
maximum level Residential Direct Contact Criteria (RDCC) of 90
ppt TEQ. THE HOME IS AT LEAST 20
FEET ABOVE THE FLOOD PLAIN AND A 100 FEET FROM THE WATERS EDGE AT THE CREST OF THE 1986
This development opens a 'floodgate' of questions and concerns. How did it get
there? At this point, possible causes are speculative. However, a former
resident of the area states that many years ago, it was common practice to scrape up the
flood plain soil and use as back fill in the property lying above the flood plain to
increase the size of a home's building site.
If true, residents may find their "high ground" safe havens are polluted at
levels greater than those found in the flood plain.
In addition, the former resident indicated it was common practice to mine the flood plain
dirt and haul to building sites all over Saginaw County and as far away as Clare and
Midland Counties. Until now, people living out of sight of the river thought
all of this was someone else's problem. How many have been unknowingly living in a
toxic environment and how many of those have had detrimental health effects because of it?
Another sample taken from the river bank of the Freeland property returned a value of
1,130 ppt TEQ. The area sampled lies directly under the feet of the people attending
family gatherings shown on this web sites Picture Page. A
third sample from the flood plain was below 90 ppt, speculation could lead one to believe
this depressed area at the base of the hill is actually where the dirt was excavated and
hauled up to the house. In other words, this location was "cleaned-up".
Further details of the testing will be released once the official MDEQ report
The scope of the Dow's SOW currently under development MUST be expanded to include ALL
property adjacent to the Tittabawassee river, regardless of it's "flood
plain" status. The practice of backfilling building sites was probably not
unique to this property. Further more, Dow must take IMMEDIATE ACTION to protect
residents identified with contamination within their immediate living space.
DOW, NO MORE TALK, NO MORE DELAYS, STOP THE SPIN,
DO THE RIGHT THING, TAKE ACTION, CLEAN IT UP NOW!
The above testing results where made know to Dow representatives at tonight's
public SOW meeting.
The Saginaw River
Testing in 2007 reveals dioxin levels as high as 1,600,000 ppt TEQ.
Testing in 2005 reveals dioxin levels as high as 16,000 ppt TEQ.
Testing in 2004 reveals dioxin levels as high as 11,812 ppt TEQ
Recent Saginaw River FingerprintDecember 04Phase 2 Fingerprint Freeland Festival Park June
The dioxin congener "Finger print" graph on
the left is from draft data of recent Saginaw River sediment dioxin testing by
the Army Corp of Engineers. The one on the right is from MDEQ Phase 2 sampling
of Freeland Festival park soil which is at least 22 miles upstream of the
Saginaw River sampling site. Click on the graphs for an enhanced view.
Notice any similarities? Dow
states they may not be the source. Hmmmmm?
We are not sure of what exactly these satellite photo's on depicts, but
it sure looks like a plume of river sediment reaching out into the Saginaw Bay
and Lake Huron. Click on the images for a larger view.
The image on the left shows the flow of the Tittabawassee River from Dow
Chemical in Midland Michigan to south of the City of Saginaw where it is joined
by the Flint & Shiawassee Rivers to form the Saginaw River. The combined
rivers flow north through Saginaw to Bay City, into the Saginaw Bay, and
evidently all the way out into Lake Huron. The total trip from Dow to the
Bay is approximately 43 miles. Is it any wonder that dioxin has been found in
the sediment of the Saginaw Bay?