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E-M:/ Fwd: DEQ Press Release - Dioxin contamination in Midland and area rivers

Enviro-Mich message from Kirk Riley <rileyki@egr.msu.edu>

Forwarding a message from Matt Doss of the Great Lakes Commission, who sent the DEQ release below to another listserv.

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Delivered-To: mich-rap-outgoing@glc.org
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Delivered-To: mich-rap@great-lakes.net
From: "Matt Doss" <mdoss@glc.org>
To: <mich-rap@great-lakes.net>
Subject: DEQ Press Release - Dioxin contamination in Midland and area rivers
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2005 14:28:55 -0500

January 19, 2005

Contact:  Patricia Spitzley
               (517) 241-7397

DEQ and Dow Agree On Framework

The Department of Environmental Quality announced today that an agreement
has been reached with the Dow Chemical Company on framework to begin
immediate work towards the cleanup of dioxin contamination in Midland, along
the Tittabawassee River, the Saginaw River, and Saginaw Bay.

"The framework establishes a path for cleanup focused around our strong
commitment to healthy people, healthy communities, and a healthy economy,"
said Lieutenant Governor John Cherry. "It is the result of hard work and a
will to reach agreement by both parties."

Developed consistent with Dow's existing Hazardous Waste Operating License,
the framework requires Dow to take immediate actions to reduce citizen
exposure to dioxin.  These actions, called "interim response activities",
are DEQ approved plans that focus first on areas where the risk of exposure
to dioxin is the greatest in the city of Midland and along the Tittabawassee
River (Priority 1 Areas).  Specifically, activities will be focused on
Corning Lane, a neighborhood north of the Dow facility; a neighborhood east
of Corning Lane in Midland; and residential properties on the Tittabawassee
River Floodplain where the home or the yard close to the home was inundated
during the March 2004 flood.

Dow may use a variety of measures to mitigate exposure to contaminants
including, but not limited to, covering exposed soils and house cleaning.
Exposure barriers will be put in place no later than December 31, 2005 and
will be maintained until Dow initiates a DEQ-approved final cleanup action
plan.  Work will begin on the areas flooded by the March 2004 flood along
the Tittabawassee River not included in Priority 1 Areas, in January 2006
(Priority 2 Areas).

"The framework enables us to take immediate actions while we continue to
develop a responsible, science based, final resolution to the situation for
residents, our communities, and the Mid-Michigan region," said Susan
Carrington, Vice President and Director of the Michigan Dioxin Initiative
for Dow Chemical.

In addition to these steps, Dow will undertake further interim actions to
address long term cleanup efforts.  These actions include:

*  Providing funding, or the services of a contractor, to assist homeowners
in removing mud and dirt from the interior of residential buildings and on
paved areas when deposited by flood events.  Dow will also provide funding
to local governmental agencies to assist with cleanup of sediments deposited
on paved public access areas by flood events.

*  Addressing exposure to dioxin at any residential property that is
determined to have soil dioxin levels similar to the Priority 1 Areas.

*  Taking additional actions deemed necessary to protect public health and
the environment, until a final remedial action plan is implemented.

Dow will have the opportunity to study the bioavailability of dioxin in
soils and use that information to propose potential area-wide or
site-specific cleanup criteria for this "off-site" dioxin contamination.
The DEQ will consider the results of such study and Dow's proposed criteria
in accordance with state law.  DEQ and Dow will further define Dow's
responsibilities for areas beyond the Dow plant site through future

The DEQ and Dow will engage the public in discussions on the various
activities described in the framework as they are developed and implemented.
Additional opportunities to provide outreach to the public on the status of
immediate actions undertaken and future remedial action will be announced in
the coming weeks.  Dow, with participation from the DEQ, will schedule
outreach sessions with numerous stakeholders, including families and
property owners within the Priority 1 Areas described in the framework to
explain the process and any potential impact on their properties.

"This framework ensures that the cleanup activities undertaken by Dow will
be protective of human health and the environment," said DEQ Director Steven
E. Chester. "As we move forward, we welcome the public's participation in
developing a comprehensive resolution of Dow's corrective action

The framework, along with a map showing Priority 1 and 2 Areas, can be
viewed online on Thursday, January 20, 2005 at www.mi.gov/deqdioxin.


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