Dow expected to enter round 2 of cleanup

Kathie Marchlewski, Midland Daily News 02/19/2006

The Dow Chemical Co. is gearing up for a second round of dioxin cleanup and soil coverup in the most highly contaminated areas of the Tittabawassee River flood plain.

In upcoming weeks, between 500 and 600 property owners are expected to be notified of eligibility for the voluntary program, which is a continuation of last year's efforts to keep people from exposure to tainted dust and dirt.

The letters providing notice and information are expected to be approved by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, a process that is under way.

Like the work that took place in 2005 as part of Dow's state-mandated dioxin remediation efforts, the company plans to offer carpet, hard surface and duct cleaning, along with landscaping to cover loose soil.

"It's the same objective," Dow spokesman John Musser said. "They could be the same activities, but we're not expecting they will be as frequent or thorough."

Priority 1 properties are those along the river which host homes and were flooded by waters and contaminated sediment in the March of 2004 -- about 330 -- and in Midland, 103 homes that are in areas north and east of the Dow plant which are expected to have the highest levels of historical airborne deposits of dioxin.

Homes slated for action this spring are those labeled as "Priority 2." All are on the flood plain and were also flooded in March of 2004, though water didn't come into or within 20 feet of homes.

Based on sampling, the DEQ expects the areas to host dioxin levels more than 10 times higher than the state considers safe -- 90 parts per trillion -- and higher than 1,000 ppt, the federally prescribed action level.

As part of its state-mandated remediation efforts, the company also plans to revisit the homes it addressed last year. It is required to repeat exposure-reduction activities if recurring floods re-contaminate homes or disturbs landscaped soil barriers.

Of the Priority 2 properties, not all will receive services, Musser said. Some are vacant and won't require attention, and some are agricultural. The agricultural properties will be considered for remedial activities, but Musser said it is not yet known what services might be offered.

"If you look at the samples, you don't find high levels in the tilled grounds," he said.

İMidland Daily News 2006

For additional articles like this one, go to the Tittabawassee River Watch web site for complete coverage of the Tittabawassee River Dow Chemical dioxin contamination saga. . The Newspaper / Media page of our site contains an extensive archive of media articles dating back to January 2002. The source organization's web site link is listed to the right of the article, visit often for other news in our area. The Newspaper / Media page may be accessed by scrolling down to the bottom of the CONTENTS section and clicking on the Newspaper/Media link.