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steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A national group representing America’s farmers is renewing its call on the Trump administration to block the proposed merger of Midland-based Dow Chemical and DuPont.

Rob Larew is with the National Farmers Union. He says the deal is not a good one for America’s farmers.

“Our nearly 200,000 farmers across the country are not in favor of mega mergers like this which will put farmers at a disadvantage,” says Larew. 

European Union approves merger of Dow Chemical and Dupont

Mar 27, 2017
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The European Union approved the proposed merger of Dow Chemical and DuPont on Monday, declaring itself satisfied with commitments the companies have made to divest businesses.

Both plan to join in a $62 billion deal and then break apart into three separate, publicly traded companies. Those companies would focus on agriculture, material science, and the production and sale of specialty products.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

We may learn this week if European regulators are going to give the green light to the proposed merger of Midland-based Dow Chemical and DuPont.

Reuters is citing sources saying the European Commission will give its blessing to the proposed merger early this week.

A European Commission spokesman would only say, “We cannot speculate on the precise date for a decision.”   

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The proposed merger of Midland-based Dow Chemical and DuPont may soon clear a critical hurdle.

European regulators may be close to approving the $130 billion merger. The European Commission has until April to make its final decision.

Dow and DuPont officials have been working hard for months to convince European regulators to approve their merger. Those efforts may have finally paid off.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The proposed merger of DuPont with Midland-based Dow Chemical took another formal step in a pivotal regulatory review today.

Getting the approval of the European Commission to the multi-billion-dollar merger is seen as a key obstacle for Dow and DuPont.

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The proposed merger of Midland-based Dow Chemical and DuPont is now part of a lawsuit filed by a town in New Jersey.  

DuPont operated the Chambers Works plant near Carneys Point, New Jersey for more than a hundred years.   Teflon was invented there in 1938. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette is tight-lipped about whether his office will join a federal anti-trust probe into the proposed merger of DuPont and Midland-Based Dow Chemical.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Business leaders in the Saginaw-Midland-Bay City region hope entrepreneurs will fill the employment gap left by layoffs by major local employers.

New phase announced in Dow dioxin cleanup near Midland

Sep 27, 2016
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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, has proposed a new phase in its multi-year plan to clean up dioxin contamination from Dow Chemical's Midland plant. 

Discharges from the plant in the last century boosted levels of dioxins in the Tittabawassee and Saginaw rivers and their floodplains.

Dioxins are toxic chemicals that may cause cancer and other serious health problems.

The latest phase targets six miles of a contaminated 21-mile section of the Tittabawassee River and its floodplain. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

During a hearing today, U.S. senators quizzed officials with Midland-based Dow Chemical, DuPont and other major chemical companies about major consolidation in the chemical industry.

Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley calls it a “tsunami” of consolidation.

Dow Chemical
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing this week that could affect the planned merger of Midland-based Dow Chemical and DuPont.

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He called the special hearing into Consolidation and Competition in the U.S. Seed and Agrochemical Industry. Grassley is concerned major consolidation in the agri-chemical industry will mean less competition and hurt American farmers.

Michigan's Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) has wrongly accused tens of thousands of people of cheating on their unemployment claims.
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More than 300 people will be laid off next month from Dow Corning in mid-Michigan, the company alerted the state workforce program in late July.

At the company’s Auburn site in Williams Township, some 238 employees will be affected by Dow Corning’s “restructuring,” the company says.

Paul Wasek says he saw this coming.

As township supervisor of Williams Township (population slightly under 5,000,) where Dow Corning is the biggest employer, the writing’s been on the wall since Dow Chemical completed its takeover of Dow Corning, which makes silicon products.

Dow sign on wall
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Dow Chemical is cutting 2,500 jobs worldwide, including hundreds in Michigan and the Great Lakes Bay Region.

The layoffs come as the Midland-based company absorbs operations of Dow Corning and prepares for a merger with rival DuPont.

“We are moving quickly and effectively to integrate Dow Corning and deliver the synergies that will drive new levels of value creation for our customers and generate even greater returns for our shareholders,” said Andrew N. Liveris, Dow’s chairman and chief executive officer.

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A senior U.S. Senator is asking federal anti-trust officials to investigate the planned merger of Dow Chemical and DuPont.

Stockholders for Midland, Michigan-based Dow Chemical and Delaware-based DuPont vote on the merger next month.

The merger would create a company worth $130 billion, though eventually, the plan is to divide it into three different companies, one of which would be based in Michigan.

Dow Chemical

Andrew Liveris, the embattled CEO of Dow Chemical, confirmed during an analysts' call that he will leave the company in 2017, after Dow completes its takeover of Dow Corning, and then merges with Dupont.

Liveris' leadership has been under attack by an activist investor, who criticized Liveris for not pursuing mergers and other means of maximizing investor returns.  That was before the Dupont deal was announced.

Liveris has been with Dow Chemical for 40 years and was its CEO for 12.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

People in Midland are waiting to see what effect the announced merger of Dow Chemical and DuPont will have on their city.

Midland is a company town. Everywhere you look you see the Dow diamond logo, from the city’s minor league ballpark  to cultural institutions.

And of course, there’s the sprawling Dow Chemical complex on the city’s south side.

Dow started in Midland over a century ago. But that long history is about to head in a new, uncertain direction. 

DuPont And Dow make their huge merger official

Dec 11, 2015
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The two largest chemical companies in America will become one entity named DowDuPont, as Dow Chemical and DuPont say they're joining in a "merger of equals." 

The new company will have a market capitalization of around $130 billion, the company says.

After the merger, the resulting behemoth would be split into what Dow chairman and CEO Andrew N. Liveris calls "three powerful new companies." The mammoth deal will need to be reviewed by federal regulators.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan businesses are taking part in a new push to resurrect a federal agency that helped American companies do business overseas.

The Export Import Bank of the United States was created under President Franklin Roosevelt. It has been the official export credit agency of the U.S. government. Its purpose is to provide financing and insuring foreign purchases of U.S. goods for customers unable or unwilling to accept the credit risk. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Dow Chemical is making changes to its corporate footprint in Michigan.

Dow Chemical officials say the company plans to build a new building on its corporate headquarters campus in Midland. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Midland-based Dow Chemical will cut about 3 percent of its global workforce as it prepares to break off a significant part of its chlorine operations in a deal it announced earlier this year with Olin Corp.

The company says the cuts will reduce its workforce by 1,500 to 1,750 positions. Dow Chemical employed about 53,000 people worldwide at the end of last year.

Vox Efx / Wikimedia Commons

When Dow Chemical Company started in Midland, Michigan in 1897, it produced two chemicals. One of them was bleach. Now, Dow is getting out of the bleach business.

A hedge fund has been pressuring Dow officials to spin off what are called 'commodity chemicals' in order to focus the companies efforts. 

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Some scientists at Dow Chemical in Midland plan to spend some of their break time next month watching TV coverage of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. 

But they’ve got more than the usual rooting interest in one of the Games' more obscure sports.

In a nondescript laboratory deep inside the warren of buildings that make up the massive Dow Chemical complex in Midland, a large machine is shaking and rattling something that looks like a miniature sleigh.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

A major hedge fund is making waves for Midland-based Dow Chemical.

Third Point Management announced today that it has upped its position in Dow Chemical.

The hedge fund now has a $1.3 billion stake in Dow. That makes the hedge fund a significant shareholder in the company.  

Shawn Allee/The Environment Report

BAY CITY, Mich. (AP) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is making plans for cleanup next year of a 4-mile-long segment of the Tittabawassee River contaminated with dioxin from a Dow Chemical Co. plant in Midland.

It's part of a multi-year strategy to remove tainted sediments from the Tittabawassee and Saginaw rivers that were polluted by water and air emissions from the plant from the late 1890s to the 1970s.

A 3-mile stretch near the plant was completed in September.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Michigan State University is getting  $14 million to study how dioxins affect human health.

MSU researchers will look for ways to remove dioxins from the environment and reach out to communities burdened with the toxic pollutants.

Dioxin contamination has been a problem in parts of Michigan, including along the Tittabawassee and Kalamazoo Rivers.

Norbert Kaminski is heading up the multi-disciplinary study. He notes that dioxins have been linked to illnesses like cancer.

ipaa.org

For years, Michigan businesses and consumers have enjoyed extremely low natural gas prices.

But that may be changing. And it’s a case of basic economics. 

Natural gas is selling for about $4 per thousand cubic feet in the U.S.

In Europe, the price is closer to $10 per thousand cubic feet. In Japan, the price is hovering over $15.

So it should be no surprise that the energy industry is pushing hard for more exports of natural gas.       

dow.com

A federal judge has slapped Midland-based Dow Chemical with a billion dollar judgment in a price fixing case. The company allegedly colluded with its competitors to fix the price of urethane.

The collusion allegedly occurred between 1998 and 2003. Urethane is used in automotive, construction, appliance and furniture products.

In February, a jury turned in a 400 million dollar verdict against Dow Chemical. This week, a federal judge tripled the penalty to $1.2 billion.   

Dow plans to appeal the verdict. BASF, Huntsman International and Lyondell Chemical Company have already reached out of court settlements with the plaintiffs.

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MIDLAND, Mich. (AP) - The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality says Dow Chemical Co. is ahead of schedule as it samples residential properties in Midland for dioxin.

The DEQ this week approved Dow's request to begin work on 300 properties that had been scheduled for inspection next year.

It's part of a five-year plan to clean up neighborhoods contaminated for decades by airborne dioxin from a Dow plant in Midland, where the company is based.

Of about 150 properties sampled thus far, 22 have had dioxin levels higher than 250 parts per trillion, which triggers a company-funded cleanup if the owners want it.

Results from this fall's sampling will be available next spring. Any needed cleanups will get started then.

Dow is negotiating with federal officials over cleanup of the Tittabawassee and Saginaw rivers.

Shawn Allee / The Environment Report

After years of back-and-forth between residents, regulators and Dow Chemical, a massive clean-up of contaminated soil in Midland is getting under way.

The state approved the cleanup plan today. It calls for soil testing on 1,400 properties. Officials are looking for dioxins. Those are byproducts of chemical manufacturing. The toxins have been linked to health problems, including cancer.

"After all the meetings I've attended over the years and everything, and being asked why's this taking so long and everything, it's nice to be able to tell somebody the actual clean-up is really being done," said Jim Sygo, deputy director of the Department of Environmental Quality.

The plan calls for removing and replacing soil contaminated with dioxin at levels above 250 parts per trillion.

Sygo says that's a level that studies have determined poses an unacceptable cancer risk.

Environmental groups say they think the number should be lower, and take into account health risks other than cancer.

Still, some are celebrating the milestone.

“If you know the history of the city of Midland, and how political this has been, and how much push-back there has been from city fathers, from the business community, from the Chamber of Commerce, from Dow Chemical, over decades, I think only then can you truly appreciate…this is significant progress for that community,” said Michelle Hurd Riddick of the Lone Tree Council.

Dow Chemical Co.'s plan to clean up sites with dioxin contamination near its Midland facility has been approved by Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality.

Back in February, Dow also offered a land purchase and relocation program to about 50 landowners living near the company's Michigan Operations manufacturing plant.

From a Dow press release:

Dow is offering this incentivized property purchase program to give property owners in the immediate area north and east of Michigan Operations...the option to move out of an industrial/commercial area to a residential area, if they so choose. The program will also offer relocation support for those who rent their homes, if the property owner participates in the program.

As the Environment Report's Rebecca Williams has reported, dioxins are a class of toxic chemicals that appear "in the environment as by-products of many industrial processes and some natural sources." The Environmental Protection Agency says dioxins are likely to cause cancer in humans.

-John Klein Wilson contributed to this report

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Dow Chemical says an international court has awarded it $2.16 billion in damages from its dispute with Petrochemical Industries Co., a subsidiary of state-owned Kuwait Petroleum Corp.

Dow shares are up 4 percent in trading Thursday before the opening bell.

Midland, Mich.-based Dow, one of the world's largest chemical companies, formed a $17.4 billion joint venture with the Kuwaiti company in 2008 to produce plastics for consumer products, automotive parts and drug processing. But the deal was scrapped later that year by that country's government following lawmaker criticism that could have led to a political crisis in the small oil-rich state.

"This outcome brings resolution and closure to the issue," Andrew Liveris, Dow`s chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement.  "We remain focused on continuing to move forward with our transformation and profitable business partnerships -- both in Kuwait and around the world."

Dow has Chemical Co. been doing business with Kuwait for nearly 40 years.

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