The Dow Chemical Corporation, headquartered in Midland, Michigan, has contaminated a 20 mile stretch of the Tittabawassee River with dioxin, a known carcinogen. Over 16,000 individual properties are affected downstream. Water from the Tittabawassee River merges with the Saginaw River, then flows out to Lake Huron at Saginaw Bay.
This massive contamination came to light when citizens learned through FOIA that high levels of dioxin had been found for miles downstream from Dow's manufacturing facility. Subsequent testing confirmed that the watershed and flood plain downriver from Dow's headquarters are contaminated with elevated levels of more than 7,200 ppt. The state residential cleanup standard is 90 ppt. High levels have been found in public use areas and parks.
In response to the revelations, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) worked hand-in-glove with the Dow Chemical Company to craft a settlement agreement which the Michigan Attorney General office called "illegal" and "fatally flawed".
Residents living in dioxin-contaminated areas, joined by leading environmental organizations in the state, have taken legal action to attempt to stop the proposed agreement.
Am I beating a dead horse? This story is as old as it gets.
Can we count on the new Democratic legislature in Michigan to act, or will we see Dow get its way?
Ann Arbor's Ecology Center website has tons of info. View press releases and legal documents on Dow dioxin contamination here.
Trespass Against Us: Dow Chemical & The Toxic Century
by Jack Doyle