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Scientists propose "biosparging" to clean up 1,4-dioxane pollution near Lansing

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Bryan Jones
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Scientists propose biosparging, a process of injecting air into groundwater, to clean-up a 1,4-dioxane plume near former GM properties near Lansing

Scientists want to use an unconventional method to remove pollution from former General Motors properties near Lansing where an underground plume of chemicals is creeping toward drinking water wells.

The Lansing State Journal reports that the trust that controls the sites is proposing a method called "biosparging," which removes pollution by injecting air into groundwater. This encourages bacteria to consume 1,4-dioxane, a chemical the GM plants used to clean oil off car parts. The EPA says 1,4-dioxane can lead to serious health problems.

Engineers say it could take six to 12 years to fully clean the water.

The pollution was discovered after the Revitalizing Auto Communities Environmental Response Trust took over the GM sites following the company's bankruptcy reorganization in 2009.

The trust will need state approval to pursue the pollution removal plan.

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