Tittabawassee River / Saginaw River / Saginaw Bay Cleanup
- 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
Sign up for the dow_dioxin listserv (subscription-based email list EPA uses to deliver news about the site).
Saginaw Field Office
804 S. Hamilton St., Suite 3
Saginaw, MI 48602
Community Involvement Coordinator
Diane Russell (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Community Involvement Assistant
Mary Breeden (email@example.com)
Community Involvement Coordinator
Susan Pastor (firstname.lastname@example.org)
312-353-1325 or 800-621-8431, ext. 31325
Remedial Project Manager
Mary Logan (email@example.com)
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.
Hoyt Main Library
505 Janes Ave.
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.
In this site:
- Progress updates
- Cleanup locations
- Documenting progress
- Community Advisory Group (CAG)
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.
You will need the free Adobe Reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA's PDF page to learn more.
- Map of the Tittabawassee River showing project segments (PDF) (1pg, 83K) February 2013
- Overview map (PDF) (1pg, 128K) May 2011
- Segment Map for Tittabawassee and Saginaw River (PDF) (1pg, 900K) April 2011
- Reach overview aerial photo Middle Tittabawassee River Project (PDF) (1pg, 135K) June 2007
- Reach overview aerial photo Upper Tittabawassee River Project (PDF) (1pg, 213K) June 1, 2006
Historical influences on the Tittabawassee River (17:00)
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.