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Gary Henry 04/14/05 Saginaw News

Don't lift the 'facility'

Here we go again. The Saginaw News, April 9, 2005: "Lawmakers: Floodplain designation improper".

For the third time in less than a year, local, or should I say 'Dow" lawmakers are attempting to introduce legislation to lift the facility designation off of the Tittabawassee River floodplain. State Rep. John Moolenaar , Republican of Midland and state Sen. Mike Goschka, Republican of Brant Township, say the designation is applied too loosely and causes confusion.

They claim the state has not tested every property and should prove that every property is contaminated before labeling the entire floodplain a facility.

Shouldn't Dow be the one required to "prove" that these properties are not contaminated? Why should taxpayers foot the bill for the polluter? Extensive testing performed by the state has provided enough evidence to conclude that properties in frequently flooded areas of the floodplain are heavily contaminated with Dow dioxin.

In truth, the "facility" label means that because of the contamination, the floodplain is now a part of the "Dow facility" for regulatory purposes. Under it's current Hazardous Waste license, Dow is required by law to take corrective action on any property that is part of their extended facility. The action must be taken whether the property is owned by Dow or someone else 40 miles down river

The only one benefiting from removing the facility label would be Dow Chemical as it would release them of cleanup responsibility.

"Label" or not, home owners are still required by Michigan Real Estate law to disclose known or SUSPECTED soil contamination.

The only ethical way out of this mess is to keep the current law and make Dow clean it up. Our property will no longer be a facility once the hazardous substance is removed.

Just whose interest do these politicians really represent?

Gary Henry

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