Dioxin 'facility' hearing is Tuesday in Lansing

Monday, May 23, 2005 JEREMIAH STETTLER THE SAGINAW NEWS

A bill that would peel the contaminated "facility" label from hundreds of properties along the Tittabawassee River will get a hearing before a House committee this week.

The House Government Operations Committee will take testimony at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday on a bill that would prohibit the state from declaring any property a "facility" without the testing to prove it.

The hearing will take place in the Anderson House Office Building, 124 N. Capitol in Lansing.

Rep. John Moolenaar, a Midland Republican who says existing law allows for too much assumption and too little verification, is the bill's sponsor.

"Our goal is to ensure that the (Department of Environmental Quality) treats homeowners in mid-Michigan fairly and incorporates the best available science in making any determination regarding the facility designation," he said.

So far, Moolenaar said, the state has left a "storm cloud" lingering over mid-Michigan that threatens to hurt homeowners economically without proper justification.

State officials repeatedly have defended their decision. Even without sampling every property, they say the label accurately identifies areas of high dioxin contamination and places responsibility for cleanup on the accused polluter, Dow Chemical Co.

Among those expected to give testimony Tuesday is David Garabrant, a professor of occupational medicine at the University of Michigan. Garabrant is leading a $15 million study that seeks to answer the question of whether dioxin in the soil is linked to dioxin in the blood.

The hearing is open to the public. v

Jeremiah Stettler is a staff writer at the Saginaw News. You may reach him at

776-9685.

© 2005 Saginaw News


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