Issue Date: January 14, 2008
EPA Halts Talks With Dow On Dioxin Contamination
EPA abruptly broke off talks on Jan. 4 with Dow Chemical on a deal to study and clean up dioxin and furan pollution along Michigan's Tittabawasee and Saginaw Rivers. The agency says Dow is not going far enough to address the decades-old contamination. Ralph Dollhopf, associate director for the Superfund Division at EPA's Region V office in Chicago, says, "Key issues that are paramount for protecting human health and the environment remain unresolved." Dow spokesman John Musser says the company was in the process of sending an updated draft deal to EPA and was caught by surprise when it learned the agency had cut off the negotiations. Dow says it was prepared to commit "immense human and financial resources" to the investigation and cleanup. Musser claims the pollution of concern in the rivers' banks and sediments consists primarily of furans from the manufacture of chlorine bleach using a process that Dow discontinued before World War I.
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