Tittabawassee River Watch Editorial          Back to editorial page  

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Thursday, June 24, 2004
Regulatory agency threatens Michigan jobs with action against Dow Chemical
By Doug Roberts Jr.

The DEQ is attempting to launch a vague, ill-conceived plan that could end up designating several thousand homes as a "facility," which under Michigan law means that "hazardous" materials are present. This would have a chilling effect on this region and a potentially devastating impact on the lives of the local residents.

Doug Roberts Jr. is director of environmental and regulatory affairs for the Michigan Chamber of Commerce


Vague, ill-conceived plan? Like most of Dow's apologists and doomsday forecasters, Mr. Roberts has probably not read Dow's RCRA license. This license is anything but vague or ill conceived.

It says:

Dow you will be responsible to the public for your contamination

Dow this is the process by which you will be held accountable

Dow this license describes in detail those areas of contamination that you will address

Dow you are subject to the laws of Michigan

The license, essentially the "plan" Mr. Roberts refers to, was issued in June 2003 after a lengthy comment period. Worth noting that Dow, nor the City of Midland, nor any elected official formally contested the license or challenged it in a court of law. After years of fending off regulatory agencies Dow is now faced with public accountability for their contamination. No longer having Russ Harding to due their bidding the DEQ is now some kind of monster intent on destroying people's lives. Give me a break!

The facility designation is not what's harming the community but rather, it's the presence of Dow's dioxin in our parks, yards and rivers. The only thing that will make the stigma go away is for Dow to work with the DEQ, bite the bullet and clean up the dioxin. While we can all appreciate anger over property values there are also hundreds of people down stream who are being denied use of their property because it's contaminated. They have rights too. The right to use their yards as they intended when they purchased the property.

Michelle Hurd Riddick

Lone Tree Council


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