The Dow Chemical company has reached a settlement to restore natural resources in three Mid-Michigan counties following the release of hazardous substances.
The United States Attorney’s Office released details of the settlement today.
It includes Dow implementing and funding an estimated $77 million in natural resource restoration projects intended to compensate the public for “injuries to natural resources caused by the release of hazardous substances from Dow’s Midland, Michigan facility.”
According to the complaint, Dow released dioxin-related compounds and other hazardous substances from its Midland facility, and those released substances hurt natural resources including fish, invertebrates, birds and mammals.
The complaint also alleges the hazardous substances contributed to the adoption of health advisories to limit consumption of certain wild game and fish, and also resulted in soil contact advisories in certain areas.
The settlement calls for natural resource restoration projects in parts of Midland, Saginaw, and Bay Counties.
In addition to the restoration projects, the settlement calls for Dow to pay $6.75 million, plus interest, to a Restoration Account that will be used to fund other restoration projects.
Additionally, the settlement requires Dow pay another $15 million, plus interest that will be used by the Trustees for various purposes. At least $5 million of this funding will be used to support implementation of additional natural resource restoration projects that will be selected by the trustees in the future, after a separate opportunity for public input on restoration project proposals.
Finally, Dow is required to reimburse costs incurred in connection with the assessment of natural resource damages relating to Dow’s releases.
The restoration projects include improving the habitat for fish and game species in and around the Tittabawassee River, Saginaw River, and Saginaw Bay.
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The settlement is still subject to public comment and approval by the court. A public meeting to provide more information on the plan, and to answer questions, will be held on Thursday, Nov. 21 at the Four Points by Sheraton in Saginaw at 7 p.m. The address is 4960 Towne Centre Road in Saginaw.