WUOMFM

Dingell urges MDEQ to step up dioxane cleanup standards

Feb 18, 2016

Officials in Ann Arbor are worried an underground dioxane plume will eventually make its way to the Huron River, a primary source of drinking water.
Credit Deb Nystrom / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell wants the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to finish the job it started several years ago.

In an open letter to MDEQ director Keith Creagh, Dingell urged the state to finalize stricter cleanup standards for the chemical 1,4-dioxane.

"MDEQ has been working for years to simultaneously develop revised cleanup standards for not only 1,4-dioxane, but also over 300 other hazardous substances that are regulated by the state. EPA updated its findings on 1,4-dioxane in 2010 and Michigan is one of the last states to address this issue. These reviews should be completed as quickly as possible."

The hold-up has frustrated city officials in Ann Arbor, where an underground dioxane plume has been spreading for decades.

The city has taken steps to ensure its drinking water is safe, including the adoption of a local ordinance that prohibits the use of groundwater.

But city officials are worried the plume could eventually make its way to the Huron River, a primary source of drinking water for Ann Arbor and other communities.

Dingell says stricter standards would help ensure the company responsible for the plume, Pall Life Sciences, is held accountable.

"Lowering Michigan's standard for 1,4-dioxane is an important improvement and will give Ann Arbor, as well as MDEQ, another important tool to hold Pall Life Sciences accountable for the cleanup that they caused many years ago. It would also give citizens of the region greater confidence that every effort is being made to control this unfortunate contamination."

Read Dingell's complete letter here.