Dow Chemical Co. begins dioxin testing in Midland

MIDLAND – Soil testing to detect the presence of dioxins and furans began this week in Midland, and most property owners seem eager to know the results.
Of the 571 property owners who received letters from Dow Chemical Co. asking for sampling permission, 350 have said ”yes” so far, said Noel D. Bush, Midland’s utilities director.
The city is among them.
City Council members have agreed to let Dow sample soil at 14 city-owned parcels as part of the company’s corrective action plan under its hazardous waste facility operating license, Bush said.
Dow is looking for chemicals historically released from its complex to see if nearby properties are contaminated.
Dow and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality developed the testing plan, Bush said.
It involves drawing 23 lines radiating from the complex. Surface soil samples will come from 145 spots spaced every 950 feet along the lines, eight or 10 per line.
”Dow’s contractor will take enough soil to fill about a quart jar,” Bush said.
Dow will restore the property after sampling. Each dig should take about one hour, Bush said.
Samples will come from front yards, if possible, for easy accessibility by the sampling team.
Bush said that if results show that contaminants pose harm, the parties will identify the property so Dow and the DEQ can decide how to proceed.
Bush said the study areas range as far north as Wheeler Road.

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