The Environmental Protection Agency has a plan for
cleaning up soil contaminated by dioxins along the Tittabawasee River
floodplain. The floodplain extends along 21 miles of the river below the
Dow Chemical plant in Midland.
The EPA says the dioxins, which can cause cancer and other serious health effects, came from waste disposal, emissions and incineration from the plant.
The EPA has been directing Dow to do temporary cleanups around people’s homes whenever the river floods.
issue is, when it floods, is the water comes up, it takes the
contaminated sediments out of the river; and it deposits them in their
backyards, under their swings, under their trampolines, in their
gardens, in their chicken coops, on their farm fields,” - Michelle Hurd Riddick, community activist says.
Hurd Riddick is a member of an environmental group in Saginaw called the Lone Tree Council.
Riddick says they’ve been doing those temporary cleanups until they can
get to this proposed cleanup of the Tittabawasee River floodplain.
EPA did not provide an interview for this story. But the EPA’s plan
says the agency will not clean up the entire floodplain. Instead,
federal and state agencies will evaluate each property and work with the
homeowner if cleanup is needed.
Dow Chemical will clean up properties under the EPA’s supervision.
Riddick says her group is concerned that not enough properties will get cleaned up.
problem is, even though they’re telling us what they’re going to do,
there’s a lot of things we’re not sure about the direction yet and I
don’t think EPA’s articulating it well enough.”
READ MORE: http://michiganradio.org/post/dioxin-cleanup-downstream-dow-chemical-enter-next-stage