Tittabawassee River Watch Editorial          Back to editorial page  

WB01727_.gif (697 bytes)

Carol Chisholm, 7/29/11, Letter to  EPA Region V Administrator, End CAG pro Dow bias

Administrator Susan Hedman
Region V EPA
Chicago, Illinois
Dear Administrator Hedman:
I would like to introduce myself. My name is Carol Chisholm and I live on the Dow contaminated flood plains of the Tittabawassee River. In fact according to the state, the plains behind my home are some of the most contaminated property along the river. For the past ten year I have been involved in the Tittabawassee River Watch and Lone Tree Council efforts to address Dow’s horrific contamination of our beautiful river. Was looking forward to meeting with you and am sorry you had to cancel our meeting in Chicago on June 1st.
I purchased my home in 1995 because of the beautiful area. May of 2000 I purchased the lot next with plans of building a new home. In late 2001 it was made public that the Tittabawassee River and its flood plain were contaminated with dioxin. Since the announcement I have been involved with the dioxin contamination issue.
Frankly, I am exhausted with EPA and Dow Chemical. So much talking has gone on and so little progress has been made in the past decade and I have little hope for the future. In an attempt to present the concerns and problems plaguing the resident of Saginaw, I submitted my name and was placed on the CAG. I cannot believe the CAG the EPA assembled; could Dow be any happier?
It is undeniable that most members have an affiliation with and bias for Dow. Their affiliation with Dow creates a conflict of interest that will interfere with their ability to be objective. I requested that the members of the CAG divulge any association they have with Dow. The idea of complete disclosure was shot down every time I made the request and EPA did nothing to make the CAG transparent but then again why would EPA? Most members of the CAG have attended a yearlong leadership school established by the local chamber of commerce in Saginaw, Bay City and Midland. Do you have any idea how much the Chamber of Commerce has worked against cleanup and on behalf of Dow? Did you know or does EPA even care that the person chairing this chamber of commerce leadership group is Dow Chemical’s local legal counsel.
Under the process EPA set up for picking members of the CAG, the head of the Chamber of Commerce would not allow Kathy Henry a seat on the CAG. Dow’s most vocal supporter at the Chamber of Commerce denies someone who has been involved for years and is knowledgeable a seat on the CAG. Way to go! (Should have anticipated the direction of the CAG given our first meeting was in the Boardroom of the Chamber of Commerce.)
You must also look at those on the CAG who have Dow Chemical on their boards or take money from Dow. The conflicts are unreal.
The CAG was to be representative of the polluted community. Saginaw and Bay City are blue-collar communities. The majority of the CAG members have four-year degrees including 4 attorneys. That is not representative of the area. Most of us were skeptical about EPA taking over this site and with good reason. Even if a few of us stayed on the CAG the pro Dow bias and conflict was still dominant.
Never has there been such poor public attendance at meetings since EPA took over. I bet Dow is celebrating. EPA denied relocation to residents and gave Dow the community group it always wanted. Would like to know how else member of the public are expected to communicate with EPA other than the CAG?
I will be putting my energy in the coming months to work with other people and parties interested in cleanup. Below is some information on your EPA CAG.
Carol Chisholm
Saginaw Twp
Region V EPA Established Community Advisory Group for Dow Chemical’s Dioxin Contamination of the Tittabawassee River, Saginaw River and Saginaw Bay.
Jan MccQuire Director of the Midland Area Community Foundation:
Bill Weber- Sergeant Stone Dock
Bob Wiese Thomas Twp Supervisor
Rachel Larimore Chippewa Nature Center (CNC)

Mike Kelly
Conservation Fund Watershed Initiative Network (WIN)
  • With the initial leadership of The Dow Chemical Company and ongoing facilitation from The Conservation Fund, WIN has brought people and resources together to balance environmental, economic, social, recreational, and historic priorities, and to leverage ideas and resources toward a common goal—the greater good of future generations
Annette Rummel CEO Great Lakes Bay Visitors Bureau
Wendy Kanar Attorney with Cline Close & Dyer and
July Lincoln Saginaw Attorney
Laura Ogar Bay City Environmental director
Mike Espinosa Financial Planner

Drummond Black attorney and former mayor of Midland

Len Heinzman
President Freeland Lions club
Paul Vasold Tittabawassee Twp Trustee
Deb Huntley Dean of School of Science and Engineering SVSU
Ryan Jankoska Consumers Energy Lineman
Matt DeHues Professor Delta College
Joel Tanner retired teacher
Dave Meyer river resident attorney Smith Bovil

Charlie Curtiss Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy


Back to editorial page