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DEQ announces proposed resolution on Midland dioxin issue

Contact: Brad Wurfel 517-241-7395
Agency: Environmental Quality


Feb. 16, 2012                                                                                                            12-0216

March 1 public information meeting will offer details to area residents


The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality today announced a plan to resolve dioxin contamination issues in Midland.


The DEQ and The Dow Chemical Company have reached conceptual agreement for a work plan that will be detailed and formally submitted by Dow to the state for review in March.


"This proposed plan represents tremendous effort by the many partners gathered to address Midland's dioxin issue," said DEQ Director Dan Wyant. "The proposal is just the beginning of the work that lies ahead. I commend Dow officials for their commitment to the community and Michigan's environment, and we look forward to working with them on this effort."


A March 1 public information meeting is scheduled at 6:30 p.m. at Central Middle School Auditorium in Midland to present details of the proposed plan. Representatives from the DEQ and Dow will be available to answer questions.


A 45-day public comment period will begin after Dow submits its proposed work plan in early March.


The DEQ will hold a public hearing in April to take comment on the proposed plan. Soil sampling in residential areas is expected to begin in June.


The proposed cleanup plan acknowledges the City of Midland's interest in a resolution for its residents whose properties may be impacted by the dioxin issue.


Studies indicate that there is dioxin contamination in some parts of Midland as a result of airborne emissions from Dow's historic waste management practices. The DEQ is responsible for determining appropriate cleanup levels where corrective action is required, as part of the state's authorization to implement the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.


The DEQ is proposing a site-specific dioxin "action level" of 250 parts per trillion for residential soils in the Midland area. This cleanup level was developed by the DEQ, in accordance with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-approved risk assessment procedures and with input from the EPA.


For further information about the proposed plan, visit or go to


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