Tittabawassee River

State TrusteeAO Bureau

Also Known As


Incident Type




Case Status



Tittabawassee River


Contaminants of Concern Include

Affected DOI Resources Include

Migratory Birds, Interjurisdictional Fish, Threatened and Endangered Species, DOI Managed Lands, Recreational Use Loss

Case Description

The Trustees are conducting a natural resource damage assessment (NRDA) to restore natural resources, and the services they provide, that have been injured as a result of releases of hazardous substances from the Dow Chemical Company (Dow) plant property in Midland, Michigan to the Tittabawassee River System Area (the Site). The Trustees for the Site are the State of Michigan, represented by the Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), the Department of Natural Resources and the Department of the Attorney General; the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe; and the U.S. Department of the Interior, represented by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans are the primary contaminants of concern. The Site includes a 24-mile stretch of the Tittabawassee River south of the confluence of the Chippewa River, the 22-mile Saginaw River, and portions of the 1,143 square mile Saginaw Bay. The State of Michigan has issued fish consumption advisories throughout the Site, wild game advisories for the floodplains of the Tittabawassee and Saginaw Rivers and soil contact/movement advisories for the Tittabawassee River floodplain. The Trustees completed a Preassessment Screen (PAS), which is a rapid review of readily available information on the releases of the hazardous substances and the potential impacts to natural resources. The Trustees determined in the PAS that an assessment was warranted. Subsequent to the PAS, the Trustees issued an Assessment Plan which outlined the approaches for assessing and quantifying injuries to natural resources. At approximately the same time, the Trustees signed a Memorandum of Agreement with Dow for cooperative assessment activities and also allowed for the Trustees to conduct independent assessment activities. The Trustees are assessing the nature and extent of ecological injuries and human service losses, including losses related to recreational fishing, scaling restoration, and looking into restoration opportunities.

More information about this NRDAR is available at the Fish and Wildlife Service Tittabawassee River Site

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and MDEQ are working together for a comprehensive cleanup of the Dow’s Midland Plant and areas affected by releases from the plant. MDEQ under its RCRA Hazardous Waste program is taking the lead on cleanup of Dow’s Midland Plant and the City of Midland. US EPA pursuant to the Superfund Alternative Site program is addressing the rivers and bay. US EPA divided the Tittabawassee River, Saginaw River and Saginaw Bay into two operable units (OU). The first OU (OU 1) includes the Tittabawassee River and the first five miles of the Saginaw River, up to and including the 6th Street Turning Basin. The second OU (OU 2) includes the remainder of the Saginaw River and Saginaw Bay. OU 1 is divided into seven segments. As of August 2017, Dow has conducted removal actions in Segments 1, 2 and 3 of the Tittabawassee River with excavation, sediment capping, bank stabilization, and pumping of hazardous substances from subsurface sediments. Dow has also been conducting removals in the floodplain to be protective of human health. In Segment 4, Dow is currently conducting work at management areas identified in the banks, sediments, and the floodplain and is planning for similar work in Segments 5, 6 and 7.
Michigan DEQ
Fish and Wildlife Service Tittabawassee River Site
US EPA cleanup

Credit: USFWS

Case Documents

 Document TypeDocument NameDocument Date


 Cooperative Assessment Agreement Cooperative Agreement 04/30/2008
 Cooperative Assessment Agreement Cooperative Agreement Supplement 06/28/2013
 MOA/MOU Trustees Agreement 02/06/2006


 Assessment Plan Assessment Plan 04/01/2008
 PAS Preassessment Screen and Determination - signed 11/03/2006


 Powerpoint Presentations NRD Assessment Presentation 04/17/2008
 Powerpoint Presentations NRDA Presentation 11/01/2005
 Powerpoint Presentations Update on the Tittabawassee River NRDA 05/16/2016
 Powerpoint Presentations Update-Restoration Criteria 11/01/2007

Map View

Case Contact

East Lansing Ecological Services Field Office

East Lansing, MI | (517) 351-2555 | http://www.fws.gov/midwest/EastLansing/

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