The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has cut off cleanup talks with Dow Chemical Co. over decades-old dioxin and furan contamination in the Tittabawassee River system.

Neither the EPA nor Dow would release details about the impasse because of a confidentiality agreement that covers the closed-door negotiations. The talks revolved around a settlement to conduct a study and interim cleanup measures in the Saginaw and Tittabawassee rivers, wetlands and Saginaw Bay.

”We’re not walking away from cleaning up the river system,” said EPA spokeswoman Anne Rowan in Chicago. ”We walked away from negotiations that we thought were not fruitful.”

The move apparently caught the Midland-based chemical giant off-guard.

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