Public Input Sought On Dioxin Issue In Mid-Mich. 1-14-2011 - WNEM TV 5

Public Input Sought On Dioxin Issue In Mid-Mich. 1-14-2011

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, along with Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment, will hold a public meeting to get input on an interim plan to limit dioxin exposure along the Tittabawassee River in the Saginaw area.
Representatives from the two agencies will talk to residents at two informal public availability sessions from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 18, at the Freeland Sportszone, 5690 Midland Road, Freeland, and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 19, at the Thomas Township Library, 8207 Shields Drive, Saginaw.
A public meeting where EPA will be accepting comments about the plan is scheduled for 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 19, at Saginaw Valley State University, Curtiss Hall, Seminar Rooms D-G, 7400 Bay Road, Saginaw.
Possible plans for reducting exposure include placing a barrier (such as ground cover over bare floodplain soil) to limit human contact; or moving and raising gardens, fire pits and other recreation areas out of the floodplain.
The plan is aimed at areas that frequently flood and contain bare soil. EPA is also recommending criteria that would make properties along the Tittabawassee River eligible for these early actions. These would be short-term measures, until long-term solutions are implemented.
Dow Chemical Co., with oversight by EPA and MDNRE, has been evaluating properties near the river since last year. The evaluations include visits to homes to ask residents how they use their land and to assess property conditions.
Dioxins are the primary contaminant found at the Tittabawassee River, Saginaw River and Bay Superfund site.
At this site, dioxins were formed as byproducts of Dow’s early manufacturing processes at its plant in Midland. In the past, the chemicals were released to the Tittabawassee River, where they washed up onto floodplains during high river flows.
It is believed current waste management practices now control contaminant releases from Dow’s facility.
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