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Feds, State Say Dow Conducted Secret Dioxin Studies

Jun 3, 2005 | AP

Dow Chemical Co. improperly conducted secret dioxin studies in the Tittabawassee River basin, state and federal regulators say. Dow denied the claim.

Dioxin is a persistent and toxic chemical that was a byproduct of Dow processes dating back several decades. It settled into the soil and river sediment along at least 22 miles of Tittabawassee River flood plain downstream from the company's Midland headquarters.

In January, Dow and the state agreed to steps to address dioxin contamination in Midland and along the Tittabawassee River, as well as parts of the Saginaw River and Saginaw Bay.

In April, government scientists discovered a Dow contractor sampling Tittabawassee River sediment, said Greg Rudloff, corrective activities project manager with the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

The state Department of Environmental Quality demanded information from Dow, which produced a dozen studies analysts are just starting to review, the Detroit Free Press said Friday.

"That they have not been forthcoming with us is a concern," Rudloff said.

"We were upset," said DEQ Deputy Director Jim Sygo. "We just had no idea they were going to do that sort of sampling.

"Has this created damage to the process (of a negotiated cleanup)? I would say no. Has this created a credibility issue? The answer to that is yes."

Dow spokesman John Musser denied regulators were kept in the dark.

"That's not accurate," he said. "We've done nothing here to hide that information."

He said the state was aware of most, if not all, of the testing. Most of the tests did not require state approval, he said.


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