ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will work together to monitor a toxic plume of pollution in southeast Michigan.

Though the EPA has suspended the process of designating the area as a Superfund site, the agencies will work together to ensure public health is protected as the dioxane plume spreads through the Ann Arbor area’s groundwater, The Ann Arbor News reports .

Dan Hamel, the DEQ’s project manager overseeing ongoing efforts to monitor and address the plume, will work with Michael Berkoff, an EPA environmental scientist based in Chicago. The EPA will receive quarterly reports about monitoring and remediation efforts at the site beginning in January, Hamel said.

“I think it makes sense that the EPA and the DEQ are finding a way to work on this together,” said Scio Township Manager Bryce Kelley. “Nothing bad — only good — is going to come from the cooperation between the two agencies.”

In 2018, the state agency plans to conduct dioxane tests at more than 100 water supply wells that are in the potential path of the plume, Hamel said.

Gelman Sciences, a filter manufacturer, is responsible for the toxic chemical plume of 1,4-dioxane that’s been slowly spreading through the area’s groundwater for decades, contaminating much of Ann Arbor’s west side and Scio Township. It poses long-term threats to the city’s water supply from the Huron River.

The company has been working to remove the chemicals from the environment through a pump-and-treat remediation method, but many large concentrations remain.

Dioxane is likely carcinogenic and can cause kidney, liver and respiratory problems, according to the EPA.


Information from: The Ann Arbor News, http://www.mlive.com/ann-arbor