Tuesday reader's view: Hands are tied
By the Midland Daily News | 1 comment Posted: Tuesday, March 20, 2012 11:49 am
To the editor:
I attended the meeting on dioxin cleanup and found that The Dow Chemical Co. has agreed to clean up some dioxin areas in Midland to continue their approval for their hazardous materials disposal license. Dow vice president and site manager for Michigan Operations , Rich Wells, says the company is being transparent about the issues and working closely with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, but many concerned residents are not satisfied with this solution. They refused to address, or take responsibility, for health issues possibly caused by long-term exposure to chemicals, including dioxins, and the decrease in residents' property values due to toxic soil caused by their company.
Another issue that was addressed by concerned residents were the sealed results from the soil samples taken in 2006 at the request of the City of Midland. Many concerned homeowners found it hard to ask educated questions when they could not obtain these records. Dow, the DEQ, and the City of Midland (who did not have a representative at the meeting) all have had access to these records but they cannot be viewed by the public. It was suggested by a citizen that they were sealed so the property values of our area would not decrease and the city wouldn't have to lower taxes. It was said they will become available to the public once this cleanup is over.
The buy back of properties by Dow is not due to dioxin contamination, even though the homes are in the resolution area. It is being offered to homeowners whose property is zoned as commercial. This makes me wonder what their future agenda holds. I feel for those residents that have lived in this area most of their lives and do not have much money to fight a big corporation like Dow. Although this company is not forcing any residents to make decisions, like many, I feel my hands are tied. A speaker for the DEQ, Jim Sygo, was quoted on a television news broadcast as saying this issue will be "settled once and for all" but I believe that it is just the tip of the iceberg.
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.