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E-M:/ DEQ Dioxin News Release



Date:         Fri, 7 Jun 2002 09:08:46 -0400
Reply-To: DEQ Press Releases <DEQ-PRESS_RELEASES@LISTSERV.MICHIGAN.GOV>
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From: Pat Watson <WATSONPE@MICHIGAN.GOV>
Subject:      New DEQ Press Release 06/07/02
To: DEQ-PRESS_RELEASES@LISTSERV.MICHIGAN.GOV
X-OriginalArrivalTime: 07 Jun 2002 13:21:32.0609 (UTC) 
FILETIME=[3DAD0310:01C20E26]
Status: U

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 7, 2002

Contact:  Jim Sygo
         (517) 373-9523

State Releases Dioxin Results from Tittabawassee River Sediment and
Floodplain Soil Sampling

Partial results from a study entitled "Baseline Characterization of
Saginaw Bay Watershed Sediments" are being released today by the
Department of Environmental Quality.

The study was conducted to survey the environmental health of portions
of rivers in the Saginaw Bay watershed.  This study was conducted
separately from the DEQ Environmental Response Division sampling of
floodplain soils near Saginaw.  The dioxin and furan analyses were done
in coordination with Dr. John Giesy, professor of zoology and veterinary
medicine, at the National Food Safety Center and Zoology Department at
Michigan State University.  Funding for this project was provided
through the Great Lakes Protection Fund.

River sediments and floodplain soils were sampled from August through
December 2001, by the DEQ Waste Management Division and analytical
results were completed in May of 2002.  Samples were collected upstream
of Midland, Michigan, on the Pine, Chippewa, and Tittabawassee Rivers
and downstream to the end of the Tittabawassee River just above the
junction with the Saginaw River.  Samples were analyzed for heavy metals
and certain organic compounds including volatile and semivolatile
compounds, pesticides, herbicides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs),
polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs), dioxins, and furans.  The Dow Chemical
Company was also provided split samples that were taken by the DEQ.

Dioxin results are presented in total toxic equivalents (TEQs) as a
measure of the toxicity of the dioxin family of compounds.  River
sediments ranged from 1 to 5 parts per trillion (ppt) TEQ above the
junction of the Chippewa and Tittabawassee Rivers and from 5 to 2,000
ppt TEQ below the junction.  Concentration of TEQ in the sediments
varied substantially and appears to be higher in depositional zones
occurring within the river.

Floodplain soils were also sampled and analytical results ranged from 2
to 9 ppt TEQ above the junction of the Chippewa and Tittabawassee Rivers
and from 300 to 1500 ppt TEQ below the junction.  The attached maps show
the concentrations and distribution of the samples collected during the
study.

Staff from the DEQ is in the process of interpreting the results from
this study.  They will be integrating these results with existing data
and data that are still being collected in a separate Phase II study,
which is in progress by the DEQ Environmental Response Division.  The
DEQ is in the process of determining how best to address potential
environmental and human health issues in this area.

"Having this benchmark data will assist the DEQ in its continued
evaluation of the Tittabawassee River watershed," said Jim Sygo, chief
of the DEQ Waste Management Division.

The full report on the Baseline Characterization of the Saginaw Bay
Watershed Sediments study is expected to be completed in late July,
2002.

#####


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