CHICAGO (AP) — Dow Chemical Co. has agreed to negotiate a settlement over dioxin contamination in the Tittabawassee River system, the Environmental Protection Agency said Wednesday.
The EPA sought the negotiations under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, better known as Superfund. The area involved stretches from near a Dow chemical manufacturing plant in Midland, Mich., through the Saginaw River and its floodplains and into parts of Saginaw Bay in Lake Huron.
Dow agreed to investigate the extent of the contamination, determine what risks the pollutants might pose to humans and the environment, and provide enough data to support a range of cleanup alternatives, the agency said. The company said last week it would begin negotiations with the agency over the issue.
Dow has until Dec. 10 to lay out its plans, although negotiations may be extended until Jan. 9, EPA said. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality is expected to take part in the negotiations and investigation.
Dioxins are a group of chemicals that can cause health problems in high doses, according to the EPA.