Michigan Attorney General Announces New Plan for Ann Arbor Dioxane Plume

Ann Arbor, Michigan — The State of Michigan and Gelman Sciences have reached agreement on a new cleanup and monitoring program for the Gelman dioxane plume in the Ann Arbor area.

Attorney General Dana Nessel on Friday, March 24, calls on the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy and Gelman to enter an updated consent decree governing response efforts to address toxic chemical plumes on a Washtenaw County circuit. He announced that he had filed a motion to the court.

To replace the outdated 85 ppb standard in the 2011 consent decree, compliance with the current cleanup standard of 7.2 ppb for dioxane in groundwater will be superseded by the update, the attorney general’s office said. Stated. In addition, Gelman should undertake additional response activities to ensure compliance with lower standards of purification for drinking water, surface water and soil.

“This amended consent decree entry accomplishes an important goal that has been addressed for some time, requiring Gelman to comply with significantly lower and more protective cleanup standards for 1,4-dioxane. “Lower standards and additional response actions are important steps in addressing this contamination and are important for the people of Washtenaw County.”

The Attorney General’s announcement comes six months after a Michigan Court of Appeals reversed an earlier cleanup order in the state’s long-running lawsuit against a former Wagner Roads filter maker who severely contaminated the area’s groundwater with dioxane decades ago. will be done later.

Gelman Sciences on Wagner Road in Sio Township, just across the city line from Ann Arbor, included in a consent decree filed in Washteno County Circuit Court, proposed in March 2023. A map of the property.

Ann Arbor and Washtenaw counties have separately introduced new legislation against polluters in recent months, hoping to get German to do more to address the growing plume that threatens the region’s drinking water supply. We have taken action.

The Attorney General’s Office said the updated consent decree requires Gelman to take a number of actions proposed or endorsed by plume-affected local governments.

  • Installation of additional extraction wells to remove and treat contaminated groundwater.
  • Install wells to monitor and track the movement of dioxane plumes to protect people from exposure to contamination.
  • Survey groundwater that migrates to surface water to determine whether legislation requires action to address the effects of dioxane on surface water.
  • Provide residents with bottled drinking water when dioxane levels in residential wells exceed 3 ppb.
  • Create a contingency plan to extend municipal water in a specific area if a residential well is impacted by more than 7.2 ppb.
  • Investigating and proposing wetland response actions on the Germanic property.
German Sciences grounds in Sio Township and the crew work at a well at the edge of the adjacent Saginaw Forest off Wagner Road on February 15, 2023.

“This consent decree provides states with the tools they need to continue to address Gelman’s 1,4-dioxane plume and allow EGLE to request compliance at a lower, more protective level.” , EGLE Acting Director Dan Eichinger said in a statement. “The updated terms ensure that cleanups are on track, new extraction and monitoring wells are online, contingency plans are enhanced, and other necessary measures are taken to protect public health and the environment. increase.”

State and Gelman do not believe a hearing is necessary for the court to approve the consent decree, but the Attorney General’s Office has called for a hearing as soon as the court deems it necessary. .

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