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Click on a link in the image below to view dioxin levels & other info from our area. triver.gif (68130 bytes)

                   Click here to watch The Long Shadow video

bullet1/18/09   Proposed Superfund Alternative Site is not the way to go

The US EPA is poised to take over clean up actions under a Superfund Alternative Site  (SAS) process for the Dow Chemical dioxin contamination of the Tittabawassee/Saginaw Bay watershed. A process is already in place that has lead to cleanup actions this past year after decades of delay. These new negotiations could lead to substantial further delays, and will waste additional state and federal resources.

The new proposed process works with a guidance, rather than a
legal set of regulations, which appears to remove any teeth the EPA ordinarily would have. This change was requested by the Dow Chemical Company to US EPA under the Bush administration.

Mary Gade, the former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency chief for Region 5 in Chicago, paid a surprise visit to Thursdays meeting at Saginaw Valley State University.  Mary Gade was removed from her post in May 2008 by the Bush administration for forcing Dow to take action.  According to local media reports, Gade drove to SVSU to tell EPA and state Department of Environmental Quality officials that she thinks a new Superfund process will only delay a comprehensive cleanup, potentially for years.  In the past, Gade has stated:

 “ In my experience, Dow only enters into negotiations if they can cut a better deal for themselves, not the environment,"

Regardless' of the meetings numerous Chamber of Commerce sponsored "dioxin not dangerous" statements and questions, EPA's Wendy Carney did manage to reaffirm that the levels of dioxin and furans found in our watershed remain dangerous to humans (a comment notably absent in local media reports). 

Community leaders commented at the meeting that they want this process to move forward quickly in order to resolve the entire issue by 2010, while assuring a healthy community.  

In our opinion, moving forward with the SAS will have the exact opposite effect, and keep our communities public health, reputation and stigma as toxic communities for decades to come.

Abbreviated history of Dow activities 2007-2009

Superfund Alternative Site Issues


bullet Please sign our "Stop the 1000 ppt dioxin clean up level" petition

Thank you to all those who have emailed letters of support to stop Dow Legislators from raising our state dioxin residential direct contact criteria from 90 to 1000 ppt.

For those that have not done so yet,
Please oppose this  legislation by sending an e-mail with your name and city of residence to info@trwnews.net  and simply  state in your e-mail that you oppose 1,000ppt. We'll add your name to the petition OR you can  write to info@trwnews.net and ask for a copy of the petition which you can have your friends and family sign.  Remember, it doesn't matter where you live in Michigan because these natural resources belong to all of us.  Please act today and send off that e-mail.  Click here for the details.

bulletThe Tittabawassee River Watch (TRW) is an organization of concerned property owners along the river promoting the protection of our homes, health, and river from the effects of unprecedented dioxin contamination. We live in the rivers flood plain and are victims of the contamination introduced by the Dow Chemical Company.
bullet This site contains the latest news of our struggle, maps of contaminated areas, levels of pollution, dioxin health effects research, and methods that you can use minimize you and your children's exposure. It also documents a compelling story of how politics & corporate influence are used to bypass laws established to protect the public from harm. This information, however distasteful, is presented as an aid to public so that they can make informed decisions in the years to come.



bullet michmap.jpg (4554 bytes)The Tittabawassee River flows through East Central  Michigan, USA in Saginaw & Midland counties.  The contaminated floodplain of the river is located in a 22 mile segment downstream of the Dow Chemical Corporation's world headquarters and manufacturing plant located in the city of Midland, Michigan.  The T.River connects to the Saginaw River and then flows out to the Saginaw Bay and Lake Huron. Click on the map for a details of sampling in watershed (large pdf file).


bullet ccwsign.jpg (40514 bytes)Join the Campaign for a Clean Watershed.  This is not just a problem for the River flood plain residents as the T.River sediment and flood plain soil contamination is contributing to elevated dioxin levels in the Saginaw River, Saginaw Bay, Lake Huron, ....
  Click here for more information.


WB01624_.gif (281 bytes) Be sure to read all of the other pages in the Contents panel to your left, click for details.  Note that many of the documents on this site are actual scientific or legal documents.  Some are huge pdf files, the time you wait to view selected documents will depend upon your computer and the speed of your internet connection.  Patience is a virtue.  The vertical scroll bar to the left can be dragged left or right to make more room for large documents in this window.

bulletDr. Linda Birnbaum, the EPA's world renowned dioxin expert, audio presentation on "Dioxin, are we at risk" now on-line, click here to begin.
bulletAttention all property owners in the frequently flooded areas of the Tittabawassee River Flood Plain:
            Click here for important new advisories affecting your property.
bulletOn 3/25/03, local residents file a class action lawsuit against Dow Chemical Company, click here for details.

f04_playset.jpg (308903 bytes) Flood plain residents backyard after 2004 Spring floods
<< Click on picture to enlarge


WB01624_.gif (281 bytes)Below is TRW's  summation of the Problem, the Solution, and a Call to Action:

The Problem

bulletExtensive testing of flood plain soils by state agencies has revealed levels of Dioxin toxicity over 80 times the level deemed safe for human contact in residential areas.
bulletMore than 2000 properties are contaminated in an area estimated to cover 16,000 acres spanning either side of 22 miles of river frontage.
bulletThe contaminated land is used for residential homes, recreational parks, churches, schools, agriculture, a national wildlife refuge, and many small businesses.
bulletContaminated river sediment has been hauled all over the county for landscaping and fill dirt.
bulletMost property owners are either unaware of the dangers and/or do not believe a danger exists because of the chemical industries intense misinformation/PR campaigns in our area.
bulletReal Estate values are significantly reduced. Regardless of what your tax assessment statement says, who will buy a contaminated property at their pre-dioxin discovery values?
bulletNon-disclosure of the contamination on our property is not an option, legally or morally
bulletLocal community efforts to enhance their economies with river related activities are jeopardized.
bulletMany residents suffer health problems known to be caused by dioxin.  Statistically speaking ones chance of developing Genitourinary problems including cancer, endometriosis, birth defects, diabetes, immune system suppression, male & female reproductive effects, and many more are enormously increased by dioxin exposure.  Children are especially susceptible.

The Solution

bulletEnforce existing state Dioxin cleanup standards of 90 ppt.
bulletFederal & State agencies educate local physicians and health officials on dioxin and it's effects on the public's health.
bulletFederal, State, Local agencies as well as area physicians must be proactive in educating the public on dioxin's health risks to counter the chemical industry misinformation campaign.
bulletSeverely restrict use and/or close contaminated parks and recreational areas until a resolution is agreed upon and completed.
bulletFederal, State, & Local agencies provide intensive training to those owning contaminated property on how to avoid further contamination of their family, homes, and property.
bulletEliminate the link between a Dow sponsored Health Study and the protection of the people. Dow is intentionally delaying the protection of the people by insisting the Health Study be completed 1st.
bulletConvince Dow to focus their efforts on protecting the people rather than avoiding responsibility.
bulletAs a public service, local media should provide periodic reminders to public on methods to protect themselves and should do so without prompting or waiting for a controversy to develop.
bulletThe role of science [in decision-making] is essential. But the public must be fully involved. Informed consent is just as essential.

The Call to Action

bulletJoin the Campagin for a Clean Watershed.   This is not just a problem for the River flood plain residnets as the T.River sediment and flood plain soil contamination is contributing to elevated dioxin levels in the Saginaw River, Saginaw Bay, Lake Huron, ....
bulletIt’s time that lawmakers, Federal, State, Local agencies to get tough on Dow and force them to be accountable for their past dioxin-spewing practices that threaten our children’s health and that of every citizen who uses the flood plain.
bulletCitizens must talk to the their elected representatives about the issues and tell them to work on the behalf of the people rather than protect Dow. Enough time has passed for them to "learn about the situation".
bulletElected officials need to enact--and enforce-- health protections that will prevent this life-threatening chemical from harming our families and properties.
bulletPeople have a duty to take anticipatory action to prevent harm. If you have reasonable suspicion that something bad might be going to happen, you have an obligation to try to stop it.
bulletResist Dow's efforts to raise Dioxin cleanup levels above existing state levels. The current soil dioxin criteria for residential direct contact (RDCC) is 90 ppt TEQ, as established under the provisions of Part 201, Environmental Remediation, of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, 1994 PA 451.
bulletDemand to be included in decisions concerning the issues, they must be "open, informed, and democratic" and "must include affected parties."

Other Background Information

bulletThe Tittabawassee River is located in east central Michigan.
bulletThe Tittabawassee is one of the principal branches of the Saginaw river and Saginaw County's second largest river. The river flows south through the city of Midland where it is joined by the Pine and Chippewa rivers before heading south east toward Saginaw. Just south of the city of Saginaw, the Tittabawassee joins the Shiawassee and Flint rivers to form the Saginaw River. The Saginaw river flows north through Saginaw and Bay City and drains into the Saginaw Bay and eventually Lake Huron.
bulletDow Chemicals world headquarters and a huge manufacturing plant are located upstream in Midland on the banks of the Tittabawassee River.
bulletDow Chemical began operations in Midland in 1897.
bulletThe T.River flood plain includes land in two of the "Tri-Cities", Saginaw & Midland. The third, Bay City, is not in the T.Rivers flood plain, however the contents of the T.River pass directly through Bay City via the Saginaw River on it's way to the Saginaw Bay and Lake Huron.
bulletIn the fall of 1986, the entire watershed in our area experience the most severe flooding incident in recorded history. The Dow plants "waste treatment" facilities where overwhelmed and the contents flushed into the Tittabawassee River.   At it's peak, the river crested 15 feet over flood stage.
bulletThe Tri-City area is home to over 500,000 people.
bulletThe area was first settled by humans 5000 years ago.
bulletA prominent citizen of the area in 1908, Ezra Rust, was quoted as saying "That these waters may be polluted at Midland by a chemical plant or by that small population of that city may be true, but this can easily be corrected."
bullet"Tittabawassee" is a native Ottawa and Chippewa tribe name for "the water that follows the trail". The natives pronounced it as Te-ti-pe-wa-say, most locals now pronounce it as Tit-ta-ba-wa-see.
bulletThe Tittabawassee river was a major means of transport for early settlers and in the logging boom of the 1800's. Currently it is well-known for its excellent walleye fishing .
bulletState of Michigan has issued many restrictions on human consumption of fish caught in the T.River

If you have any suggestions on how to improve this site, send an email to info@trwnews.net .

Notes on viewing this site.

bulletMany of the documents on this site use Adobe pdf format, to view you need the Adobe Reader program, click on the Adobe icon to install.  Some of these files are extremely large, the time to download and display will depend on the speed of your internet connection.
bulletThe vertical scroll bar to the left can be dragged and dropped left or right to increase the main screen viewing area

Thanks for visiting.


TRW offers this web site as a tool to track the complex issues surrounding the dioxin contamination of our bodies and properties.  The opinions and comments   are just that, opinions and comments.   Before acting on any information provided by this site, please check with your personal physician or lawyer before doing so.

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