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Tittabawassee River / Saginaw River / Saginaw Bay Cleanup

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  • Bay City, Carrollton, Essexville, Freeland, Midland, Saginaw, Shields and Zilwaukee, MI (Bay, Midland and Saginaw Counties)
  • EPA ID# MID980994354
  • Superfund Alternative Site Fact Sheet
  • Alias(es): N/A
Related Projects

MI DEQ Midland Area Soils Corrective Action Exit EPA Disclaimer

Contact Information

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Saginaw Field Office

804 S. Hamilton St., Suite 3
Saginaw, MI 48602

Community Involvement Coordinator
Diane Russell (russell.diane@epa.gov)

Community Involvement Assistant
Mary Breeden (breeden.mary@epa.gov)

Chicago Office

Community Involvement Coordinator
Susan Pastor (pastor.susan@epa.gov)
312-353-1325 or 800-621-8431, ext. 31325

Remedial Project Manager
Mary Logan (logan.mary@epa.gov)
312-886-4699 or 800-621-8431, ext. 64699


(where to view written records)

Alice and Jack Wirt Public Library
500 Center Ave.
Bay City, MI

Grace A Dow Memorial Library
1710 W. St. Andrews St.
Midland, MI

Hoyt Main Library
505 Janes Ave.
Saginaw, MI

March 2014

Segment 2, a 4-mile stretch of the river below the Dow Chemical Co. Plant, is the next stretch of the Tittabawassee River to be cleaned up.  Work in the river will start this spring and is expected to be complete in fall 2015. Plans are being developed now for the first phase of the cleanup. The cleanup plan for Segment 2 builds on previous cleanup work.

EPA extensively studied Segment 2 by taking many samples and evaluated sediment and riverbanks to see how they change or erode over time. Dioxin is the main contaminant in Segment 2. Some areas have high levels of dioxin; in other areas the contamination is not as high. Since each area is different, EPA’s cleanup plan calls for a combination of steps. In some areas, workers will cover or stabilize the contamination to stop it from moving. In other areas, workers will dig up and haul away contaminated sediment. Still in other areas EPA will monitor and maintain work that has already been done.

Areas targeted for cleanup contain higher levels of dioxin that built up over time. Riverbank areas were identified by three criteria: 1) Banks were formed during the industrial age as floods deposited levees; 2) These banks are the least stable; and 3) Erosion could be a significant way for dioxin to get back into the river.  EPA’s two main cleanup goals are to: 1) Reduce the spread of contaminated riverbank soil and sediment to keep dioxin levels low in Segment 2. And 2) Help keep dioxin from building up in fish.  See About Contaminated Sediment and Fish graphic on page 2 of the proposed plan fact sheet (PDF) (8 pp, 545K) July 2013.

March 2014: EPA expects to formally propose a cleanup plan in 2014 for the Tittabawassee River floodplain.

Map showing segment 2 highlighted in yellow










In this site:

Off-site dioxin contamination from the Dow Chemical facility in Midland, Michigan extends over 50 miles downstream through the Tittabawassee and Saginaw Rivers and into Saginaw Bay, which is part of Lake Huron. EPA, working with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, is directing Dow’s investigation and cleanup of the river. The Tittabawassee River has been divided into seven segments ranging from three to five miles each. Work is being done in stages from upstream to downstream, segment-by-segment. Segment 1, a 3-mile stretch next to Dow’s Midland plant, is the most upstream segment. Cleanup of Segment 1 started in 2012 and is expected to be complete in 2013.


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Historical influences on the Tittabawassee River (17:00) Exit EPA Disclaimer
This video demonstrates how natural processes and historical practices have led to the current distribution of contaminants within the Tittabawassee River and its floodplain, and how people or animals may be exposed to these contaminants. It was produced by Dow Chemical at the request of EPA and was completed in 2013.

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