Friday, August 22, 2014

Dioxin cleanup downstream from Dow Chemical to enter next stage
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.

“The 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.
Hurd Riddick says they’ve been doing those temporary cleanups until they can get to this proposed cleanup of the Tittabawasee River floodplain.
The 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.
“Our 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.”

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