Our view: Reasons for the EPA dioxin rules changes aren't clear

Posted: Monday, May 10, 2010 11:45 am

By the Midland Daily News

In a perfect world, one in which money were no object, we doubt there would be calls for the Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider its stricter preliminary remediation goals for dioxin cleanups.

But this isn't a perfect world, and money is a consideration when it comes to addressing the world's ills, so we can understand why corporations, particularly The Dow Chemical Co., government agencies, associations and educators are asking the EPA to not ignore National Academy of Science recommendations and its own dioxin reassessment.

The proposed new rules use estimates on the toxicity of dioxin and other assumptions, such as how often people come into contact with the byproduct of organic combustion in the presence of chlorine, that are being debated around the world. They lower the acceptable level in soils by more than 10 times the limit today, to 72 parts per trillion in residential land from 1,000 parts per trillion today.

These rules have real world consequences. Historically, they have been used as a basis for actual cleanup levels, which could balloon cleanup costs.

Locally, some residential areas along the Tittabawassee exceeds the 72 ppt level.

We, too, would like to see the EPA justification for changing the rules. It is difficult for us, residents in a state that is not moving forward economically, to rationalize a call now for boosting costs on industries for pollution that in many instances more than 60 years old using information that many find suspect.


For additional articles like this one, go to the Tittabawassee River Watch web site www.trwnews.net for complete coverage of the Tittabawassee River Dow Chemical dioxin contamination saga. . The Newspaper / Media page of our site contains an extensive archive of media articles dating back to January 2002. The source organization's web site link is listed to the right of the article, visit often for other news in our area. The Newspaper / Media page may be accessed by scrolling down to the bottom of the CONTENTS section and clicking on the Newspaper/Media link.