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DEQ announces public comment period on Midland cleanup work plan

Agency: Environmental Quality

March 12, 2012                                                                                                            12-0312               

For More Information                                        Brad Wurfel, 517-241-7395, 

                                                                          Al Taylor, 517-335-4799,


Department will host April 17 public hearing

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality today announced it has received The Dow Chemical Company's work plan to address dioxin contaminated soils in Midland. As part of the review process, the DEQ is accepting public comment on the plan through April 25.

The work plan is for cleanup of soil contaminated by airborne emissions from Dow's historic waste management practices. It was submitted as part of corrective action work required under the company's Hazardous Waste Management Facility Operating License.

The conceptual agreement behind the proposed cleanup plan was introduced at a public information meeting March 1 in Midland. If approved, the work plan will allow Dow to proceed with sampling soil at residential properties in the resolution area and offering cleanup for properties that test above the action level.

Properties that test less than or equal to the action level and those that have had cleanup will not be considered contaminated under Michigan law. Sampling and cleanup work will be done only with the consent of the property owner. Soil sampling is expected to begin in June.


The work plan includes:

  • A proposed Midland site-specific dioxin "action level" of 250 parts per trillion for soil;
  • A soil sampling design plan for the affected properties;
  • A description of the process to be used to trigger cleanup on individual properties;
  • A description of cleanup activities to be taken and process to address deferred cleanups; and,
  • A schedule for the proposed work, which is expected to run through 2017.

The public comment period runs through April 25. The DEQ will host an April 17 public hearing to allow interested persons to submit oral or written comments regarding the work plan. The hearing is scheduled from 7-9 p.m. at the Grace A. Dow Memorial Library Auditorium, located at 1710 West St. Andrews Street in Midland. Representatives from the DEQ and Dow will be available for a short pre-hearing meeting at 6:30 p.m. to answer questions.

Public comments also will be accepted at Dow's Midland Resolution Center during three informal public availability sessions this month. The sessions are scheduled March 19, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and March 28 and 29 from 4-8 p.m. The Resolution Center is located at 1008 Jefferson Street in Midland. Other public availability sessions may be scheduled based on interest.

The work plan, related materials, and the public notice, which contains additional information on how to provide public comment, are available online at under "Midland Area Soil Cleanup".

The DEQ will consider and provide a response to all significant public comments as part of the work plan review and approval process.