Thursday, January 11, 2007

Tittabawassee River Sampling Identifies Areas for Interim Clean-up Action

Recently available results from sampling along and in the upper Tittabawassee River have identified several areas with elevated levels of dioxin and furan that require short term response activities. The sampling results identified certain eroding river banks with concentrations up to 84,000 parts per trillion (ppt) TEQ, the combined toxicity of dioxins and furans, and certain in-channel deposits with concentrations up to 87,000 ppt TEQ. The elevated sampling results are located within areas along and in the first six and one-half miles of the Tittabawassee River.

The sampling was taken as part of the ongoing study and investigation being conducted by the Department of Environmental Quality and The Dow Chemical Company. In general, the chemical profile of the in-channel and eroded bank samples are largely consistent with earlier sampling results from the same general area showing a mixture consisting mainly of furans with a small percentage of dioxins.

Dow has proposed a conceptual approach and schedule for a focused pilot corrective action plan (PCAP) to address these areas. The details of the PCAP will be developed jointly by DEQ and Dow with measures that will ensure a timely approach that will achieve the greatest protections for human health and minimizes harm to the environment and natural resources. These initial corrective action activities are scheduled to begin this month and be completed as early as August 2007.

Preparation for implementing the interim actions is underway with Dow developing the final plan and initiating the permit application processes with state and federal agencies for the work to be done in and along the Tittabawassee River. Dow has committed to working collaboratively and cooperatively with DEQ to further refine, design and implement the plan for addressing these areas as quickly and as safely as possible.

These findings were generated during the implementation of the DEQ-approved sampling plan that was developed and is being implemented by Dow and its contractor, Ann Arbor Technical Services, as part of the remedial investigation of the Tittabawassee River required by DEQ’s hazardous waste management facility operating license, issued to Dow on June 12, 2003.

The public will have an opportunity to ask questions about short and long-term actions that will be developed during the February 8, 2007 Tri-Cities Community Meeting at The Horizons Center in Saginaw Township from 7-9pm.

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