Global Processing

EPA Ends Dow Dioxin Cleanup Talks

January 8, 2008
According to the Associated Press, the federal government reported recently that it had failed to reach a deal with Dow Chemical Co. over the study and interim cleanup of dioxin contamination in the Tittabawassee River system.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said it ended talks with Dow and was reviewing its options for ensuring that dioxin contamination in the river system and the Midland area is fully addressed.

Dow spokesman John Musser said the Midland-based company was surprised and disappointed by the EPA''s decision, since it thought its offer for dealing with dioxins exceeded reasonable expectations.

The EPA in October ordered the chemical giant to develop a plan that would show its willingness to design and pay for a comprehensive solution. Last month, a deadline to reach a deal was extended.

EPA spokeswoman Anne Rowan described the end of talks as disappointing, but not a setback in cleanup efforts. She said she couldn''t say what the EPA found lacking in Dow''s offer because the talks were confidential.

Dow acknowledges that, for decades, its 1,900-acre plant in Midland polluted the watershed with dioxins and furans -- chemical byproducts that may cause cancer and damage reproductive and immune systems.

Dow shares fell $1.54, or 4 percent, to $36.99 following the annoucement.