Dow admits to polluting properties, paying for clean up
Dow Chemical Company says it is offering to buy 50 properties near its manufacturing site and clean up nearly 1,400 more.
To find out more about the deal and other details, click here.
All of this because Dow contaminated the soil with dioxins at the turn of the century up until 1930.
According to the World Health Organization dioxins are highly toxic environmental pollutants that can cause reproductive problems and even cancer.
Dow has worked with the Department of Environmental Quality on a plan that would properly address the issue of air-borne contaminants that landed on soil near the former incinerator.
Dow spokesperson Mary Draves says, "We have been working a considerable about with the state in coming up with this plan. They have provided us with a tremendous amount of effort to get where we are today. This is about a closure and really bringing final resolution to this for the residents of Midland."
Dow says if a property's average appraised price is $50,000 or greater, the potential offer would be $96,500.
Dow has established a resolution center on Jefferson Street within the voluntary property purchase area to serve as a resource for property owners.
There's an informational meeting March 1 at Central Middle School for residents to discuss their options.
Whether to move is rarely an easy decision to make, but when there's an incentive like this, people start thinking.
The homes inside the Voluntary Property Purchase Program are in an industrial zone with all the lights, sounds, and smells of a factory.
Brittany Myers, who lives near one of the plants says she is willing to move. "Yes, definitely. The alarms at Dow are pretty annoying, so it would be nice to get out of here," says Myers.
Meanwhile, neighbor Jesse Wilhelmsen says, "I like it here. I used to live in Hope, so, we lived in the country in a little shack trailer, so this is a big improvement from that. I'll deal with the noise," says Wilhelmsen.
Others that did not want to appear on camera say they're not sure what they're going to do.
One woman has been living in her home 58-years. She's wondering if she can purchase something similar for what Dow would offer her.
The homes are included in a larger area that Dow is offering to test the soil, and if it is deemed contaminated, Dow will strip 12 inches of soil, replace it, and replant vegetation.
Jon Larsen owns several homes in the area. He says the soil is the least of his concerns. "They should take a sample from me," Larsen says laughing. "I haven't died of cancer yet, but I'm crossing my fingers."
Right now Dow Chemical officials are hand-delivering booklets to every resident letting them know what their options are and what the deal is.