DEQ to create tough clean-up rules after toxic chemical found in ground water

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ANN ARBOR, MI. (WLNS) – The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality is going back to the drawing board to create some tougher policies after a toxic chemical was found in the ground water around Ann Arbor.

The chemical, known as 1-4 Dioxane, is an industrial solvent that can cause health problems even cancer with long-term exposure.

A plume of the chemical from a former Ann Arbor manufacturing plant has tainted three square miles of groundwater, although the DEQ says the city’s drinking water supply has not been affected.

In response to the incident, the DEQ is changing its policies for Dioxane by lowering the threshold that would require companies to clean up the chemical.

DEQ remediation chief Bob Wagner says the action on dioxane is part of an update of cleanup standards for 308 hazardous substances in Michigan, based on scientific information about toxicity and exposure risks.

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