To the Editor, Saginaw News 12/2/03

In a recent article, Dow Chemical stated that the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality was trying to paint a "worst case scenario" concerning wildlife studies it has done in the Saginaw Bay watershed, and that it is inadequate "to draw any meaningful conclusions".

The DEQ feels this study is a "useful guide for developing clean-up plans for the river, a clear snapshot of the extent of contamination". Dow states the study does not provide a basis for clean-up decisions. I think Dow would like to "study" the problem for a few more decades before anything might be done.

Who should you believe? The DEQ, an agency who works for the people of Michigan, who's job is to protect us and the environment from harm? Or the Corporate polluter, responsible for the pollution and it's clean-up.

Dow said dioxin levels in fillets of walleye and carp are low. The wildlife eating those fish do not fillet them first. Whole walleye and especially carp have significantly higher levels than what was stated. This is what the wildlife eat.

Human consumption of filets with even small levels of dioxin accumulates in the body. It takes about 7 years for a person to eliminate half the dioxin from only one meal. This is why there are fish consumption advisories.

The Corporations spokeswomen also criticized researchers for taking no samples of mink and otter from the river to study. I have lived on the river for 20 years and have never seen a mink or otter here. Wonder why.

The fact is, the State residential contact criteria is 90 ppt. or below. This entire watershed has up to 80 times that amount, and it needs to be cleaned up. It is the law. Until it is cleaned up, wildlife and humans will continue to be poisoned by Dow's dioxin. Remember the chicken eggs a family use to raise and eat from the floodplain? The eggs had very high levels of the contaminant.

Polluters in other states have taken responsibility and have or are cleaning up their mess. This is the Great Lakes we are talking about. Something needs to be done now, in addition to more studies.

 

Kathy Henry

Freeland