Floodwaters unleashed by a dam failure in central Michigan have reached a Dow Chemical facility and Superfund site, the company admitted Wednesday, raising the possibility that the flood could turn into a full-fledged environmental catastrophe.
At 10:00am EST, Dow announced that “there were flood waters commingling with on-site containment ponds” at its facility. Midland, Michigan is home to Dow Chemical, one of the world’s largest chemical companies…
“The flooding in Midland County poses significant risks of spreading pollution from the Tittabawassee River that has suffered from decades of contamination and illegal dumping by Dow Inc.—making it one of the most contaminated rivers in Michigan,” said Michigan League of Conservation Voters executive director Lisa Wozniak. “High water levels also threaten the integrity of Dow’s facility, which we know houses dangerous chemicals. Michiganders deserve full transparency from Dow, state and local officials regarding any contamination that results from this catastrophic event — and the immediate cleanup of it.”
The owner of the Sanford Dam, Boyce Hydro Power LLC, was dinged multiple times by federal regulators for not repairing damages. In 2018, the company’s license was revoked, with regulators claiming Boyce had “failed for many years to comply with significant license and safety requirements, notwithstanding having been given opportunities to come into compliance…”