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Congresswoman Debbie Dingell

Representing the 12th District of Michigan

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MLive: Dingell to DEQ: 'Finalize stricter cleanup standards for 1,4-dioxane'

February 18, 2016
In The News

ANN ARBOR, MI — As local officials in Ann Arbor continue to raise concerns that Michigan is years behind on updating the state's cleanup standards for 1,4-dioxane, U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell is weighing in on the issue.

Dingell sent an open letter to Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Director Keith Creagh on Thursday, calling for the DEQ to finalize stricter dioxane cleanup standards, something it was required by state law to do by December 2013.

The Dearborn Democrat, who represents the Ann Arbor area, said action by the state is long overdue to bring the permissible level of dioxane in groundwater more in line with federal guidelines and help accelerate the cleanup of an underground dioxane plume slowly spreading through the Ann Arbor area.

Dingell said it's important that the state's standards be updated to reflect the latest science, which shows greater cancer risks from dioxane.

"Given the fact that almost 85% of Ann Arbor's drinking water comes from the Huron River, the community deserves to have confidence that the 1,4-dioxane plume will not ultimately contaminate the city's primary drinking water source," she wrote.

"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. We must all work together to control this situation and to prevent another situation like Flint from ever happening again."

DEQ and local officials are expected to discuss the current situation with the dioxane plume and the cleanup standards tonight at a special working session of the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners.

The Ann Arbor News is awaiting comment from Gov. Rick Snyder's office on the issue and what the governor is doing about it.


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