From: Reuters
Published January 5, 2008 02:24 AM

EPA halts river clean-up talks with Dow Chemical

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Environmental Protection Agency said on Friday it stopped settlement negotiations with Dow Chemical Co, saying the chemical company has not gone far enough in its clean-up plans for a Michigan river.

The EPA's region 5 office had previously extended negotiations that began in October in an attempt to reach a final agreement on the clean-up of cancer-causing dioxins from the Tittabawassee River system near Dow's Midland, Michigan, headquarters.

"EPA is now reviewing its options for ensuring that dioxin contamination in the river system and the Midland area can be fully addressed," Mary A. Gade, the regional administrator for the EPA, said in a statement.

Dow was not immediately available to comment.

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The negotiations were aimed at reaching a settlement on conducting a study and the interim clean-up actions needed on the river as called for under federal "Superfund" rules.

The targeted area begins upstream of Dow's 1,900-acre site on the river and extends downstream to the Saginaw River, its floodplains and Saginaw Bay in Lake Huron.

The EPA polluting dioxins and furans are the byproducts from production of chlorine-based products.

In afternoon New York Stock Exchange trading, Dow Chemical shares were off 73 cents or 1.9 percent to $37.80. Earlier they hit a year-low of $37.36.

(Reporting by Matt Daily, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

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