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E-M:/ Chlorinated Dioxin/Furan, downstream of Dow, Tittawabawassee Watershed

Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>

Subject:      New DEQ Press Release - August 26, 2002
X-OriginalArrivalTime: 26 Aug 2002 18:30:56.0546 (UTC) 
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August 26, 2002

Contact:  Patricia Spitzley  (517) 241-7397 or
                 Andrew Hogarth  (517) 373-9838

State Releases Dioxin Results from Tittabawassee River Flood Plain Soil

Preliminary Phase II sampling results from an ongoing environmental
assessment initiative identifying dioxin in the Tittabawassee/Saginaw
River flood plain soils were released today by the Department of
Environmental Quality (DEQ).

Flood plain soils sampled between April and June of this year at
various soil layers from 12 locations extending from upstream of the
city of Midland down to the Tittabawassee's confluence with the Saginaw
River, revealed dioxin levels ranging from less than 1.0 parts per
trillion (ppt) total toxic equivalence (TEQ) to 3,400 ppt TEQ.

The sites selected in this 3-month Phase II sampling effort were based
on ease of access, type of use, and location within the study area.

The number of soil sample locations within each site varied depending
on the size of the property and the variety of uses occurring on the
property.  Samples were collected from three soil layers at each sample
location, 0-3 inches, 3-6 inches, and 12-15 inches.  At certain
locations, based on property use, a surface soil sample was also
collected from 0-1 inch.

Dioxin is a generic term for a group of chemical compounds that are
formed as unwanted by-products of industrial manufacturing and burning
activities.  Dioxin results are presented in TEQ as a measure of the
toxicity of the dioxin family of compounds.

The lowest dioxin concentrations for all soil layers were found outside
the estimated 100-year Tittabawassee River flood plain and upstream of
Midland; the highest concentrations were consistently found within the
100-year flood plain downstream of Midland.

The estimated 100-year flood plain is the area of land located adjacent
to the Tittabawassee River that is expected to flood once every 100

Flood plain soil samples were also collected from the Chippewa and Pine
River flood plains located within the Chippewa Nature Center.

Preliminary Phase II sampling results along with sample location maps
and other public health, safety, and guidance materials are being
provided to area residents and local health departments in a cooperative
effort between the DEQ and the Departments of Community Health and

A final report will be released this fall providing a full evaluation
of the Phase II sampling results and related data collected from 2
previous DEQ Tittabawassee/Saginaw River dioxin reports released earlier
this year: 1) Phase I Sampling Program Report (December 2000 - July 2001
sampling); 2) Saginaw Bay Watershed Sediment Study (August 2001 -
December 2001 sampling).

Although the DEQ has not completed a full evaluation of the Phase II
sampling data, certain preliminary conclusions about the information can
be made:

1.  Elevated dioxin concentrations were identified at all sample
locations within the Tittabawassee River's estimated 100-year flood
plain at sample locations downstream of Midland.

2.  The highest dioxin concentration overall was identified within the
12-15 inch soil layer at Freeland Festival Park at 3,400 ppt TEQ; the
highest concentration of dioxin found in a surface sample (0-1 inch) was
also located at the park (1,500 ppt TEQ).  Advisories will be placed in
the park to provide the public with appropriate guidance for park use.

3.  Dioxin concentrations at sample locations upstream of Midland
ranged from 1.0 to 12.0 ppt TEQ and were consistent with statewide
background dioxin concentrations.

4.  Dioxin concentrations at sample locations downstream of Midland but
outside the estimated 100-year flood plain ranged from 1.0 to 5.0 ppt
TEQ were also consistent with statewide background soil dioxin

5.  Phase II soil samples were also analyzed for polychlorinated
biphenyl (PCB) compounds.  At all sample locations, the concentration of
PCB compounds present in the soil samples represented an insignificant
contribution to the dioxin TEQ.

6.  Eggs from chickens that free range on flood plain soil exhibit
elevated concentrations of dioxin and should not be consumed.  The food
products from other animals raised on the flood plain might also be


Editor's note:  Five color maps illustrating the location of the
sampling sites from the Phase I, Phase II, and Saginaw Bay Watershed
Sediment Study can be accessed at the DEQ web site: www.michigan.gov/deq
(click on Land; Land Cleanup; Site Investigation & Cleanup under
"Information," scroll down to Tittabawassee River Flood Plain
Contamination).  Also found at this web site is related information
including:  information bulletins, fact sheets, brochures, press
releases, and past sampling reports.

Alex J. Sagady & Associates  http://my.voyager.net/~ajs/sagady.pdf

Environmental Enforcement, Technical Review, Public Policy and
Communications on Air, Water and Waste/Community Environmental Protection

PO Box 39,  East Lansing, MI  48826-0039
(517) 332-6971; (517) 332-8987 (fax); ajs@sagady.com

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