EPA: Dow Chemical Must Clean Up Tittabawassee Hot Spots Immediately

Jun 27, 2007, 01:00 ET from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

    CHICAGO, June 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- U.S. Environmental
 Protection Agency Region 5 today notified Dow Chemical Co. that it must
 immediately start cleanup of three dioxin-contaminated hot spots downstream
 of its Midland, Mich., facility on the Tittabawassee River.
     The action is being taken using the Comprehensive Environmental
 Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 and requires that Dow and
 EPA negotiate the final terms of three administrative consent orders for
 the cleanup within 15 days and start field work by August 15.
     EPA has documented that dioxin contamination in soil poses risks to
 human health and the environment. Cleanup must take place in a significant
 portion of the Upper Tittabawassee River this construction season.
     In late November 2006, Dow identified dioxin hot spots along the first
 six miles of the Tittabawassee River contaminated with levels up to 87,000
 parts per trillion, far in excess of state and federal requirements. The
 areas of concern are subject to flooding and erosion that could spread the
     Dow's corrective action work under its 2003 Michigan Resource
 Conservation and Recovery Act license has taken too long, prompting EPA to
 require the following actions.
     -- Development of a removal plan, including field sampling.
     -- Excavation and/or dredging of soil, bottom deposit, sediment, submerged
        sediment, riverbank and floodplain soil to an EPA-approved cleanup
     -- Cut-back and stabilization of river bank.
     -- Proper disposal of all dioxin-contaminated material, including water.
     -- Re-vegetation of floodplain areas with native plants, backfilling and
        erosion control.
     -- Sampling and chemical analysis as removal progresses.
     Dow has five days to respond to EPA's notice letter.
     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. Contamination of the Saginaw Bay Watershed extends
 over 50 miles into Saginaw Bay.

SOURCE U.S. Environmental Protection Agency