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Dr. Neill Varner letter of concern to Lt. Governor Cherry, 04/30/08

April 30, 2008


Honorable Lt. Governor John D Cherry Jr:


     Recent activities surrounding a toxic waste disposal site in Zilwaukee Township has prompted  public concern and even letters from Ms Patricia Brandt, Clerk of Zilwaukee Township regarding the wisdom and safety of current site and precautionary safety measures that appear to be lacking in the current plan and design.

     History can teach us valuable lessons .  We need only look back at the many plans and revised plans in Europe following the 1976 Seveso accidental dioxin release to grasp just how complicated the entire subject of waste management is, even with extensive public involvement.

     It appears that the local decisions are being displaced from a community-wide ones to political ones.... a method that will be unlikely to serve any good longterm solution.. It was Joseph Joubert ( writing in “Poisoned Harvest” by Robbins, C., pg 7...Gollancz., London 1991) who said, “Tis better to debate a question without settling it, than to settle a question without debating it....”  How relevant that remark is to the current debate cannot be underestimated since it is the question of pollutants biologically active at the parts-per-trillion level, pollutants that cannot be seen or even easily measured as they waft into the atmosphere or wash along the flood plain where wildlife, fish and game can carry them into the food chain ........

     Please proceed with utmost caution in this area of public interest and concern......public health and human lives depend upon it..........


Neill D Varner, DO, MPH

Medical Director

Saginaw County Department of Public Health

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