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Clean up dioxin To The Editor Saginaw News 06/08/04

This is in response to things that transpired last month -- the most appalling being the introduction of a bill in Lansing by a couple of mid-Michigan lawmakers to increase Michigan's action level for dioxin from 90 parts per trillion to 1,000 ppt. This at a time when numerous other states have lowered their standards below Michigan's 90 ppt. This is nothing less than a blatant disregard for the health of the residents of Midland, the Tittabawassee River flood plain and the entire state for the sole purpose of protecting Dow from legal liabilities. This is reminiscent of the final days of the Engler administration when they attempted to issue a consent decree that was defeated after court action and pressure from the EPA. Now we have the same people sitting in Lansing, minus Engler, attempting to do the same thing via a different avenue. Contrary to what Dow is saying, there are numerous people who do suffer greatly from many illness that most likely do have a direct link to dioxin exposure. I have always considered myself nonpartisan but have a tendency to lean more toward the Republicans. This latest turn of events have forced me to reconsider my convictions. It is quite obvious now that all that matters to the ruling party in Lansing is big business and not the welfare of the general public. Dioxin is the most toxic substance known to man, according to Dow's own statement in the 1960s. The company has spent the past 40 years since attempting to discredit their own "sound science" statement. Contrary to what some are saying, the Department of Environmental Quality and the Michigan Department of Community Health are the only organizations acting on the public's behalf. We did not put dioxin here, Dow did. The least Dow could do is address what they are required by law to do and clean this mess up.

John Taylor Thomas Township

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