Lone Tree Council and TRW
Dioxin Update #120
April 29, 2008
www.trwnews.net
 
Below is a letter sent to the Lieutenant Governor, John Cherry, by Zilwaukee Twp requesting a meeting before any decision is made on the slurry pit slated for the township. A letter was also sent by the Supervisor of Frankenlust Twp, which is also on the unfortunate receiving end of the this dredge site which straddles county lines. This site has been controversial because of the high concentrations of Dow's dioxin in the Saginaw River.  These elected officials want a meeting with the Lieutenant Governor before any decision is made. There concerns are legitimate. This dredge site will forever change their communities. They have been forced to take a risk for the business community along the river. They are entitled to some respect and the meeting they want. Then again so have the taxpayers who are liable for this site. We own it. To date there is no threshold for dioxin levels and no plan to present to the public as to how this site will be managed. Yet, it appears to be OK with elected officials and editorial boards alike.
 
This dredge site has been cloaked in the secrecy of confidentiality within the ADR ( alternative dispute resolution) established by the Lieutenant  Governor's closed door meetings with Dow four year ago. A process ignored by the media. Yet meeting notes and documents ( available before the ADR) clearly reflect Dow's interest in this site and EPA and DEQ's interest in this site as an option for Dow Chemical. Zilwaukee and Frankenlust Twp have  legitimate concerns, but perhaps, other Twps, those  along the Tittabawassee River have concerns too. Perhaps they don't know it just yet.
 
Whatever decision the Lieutenant Governor comes up with best be sound. Why? Because Dow, when it sites a facility on the Tittabawassee River will expect no more stringent standard than the DMDF. Dow's Greg Cochran, was quite candid with myself and Terry Miller, on our tour of the Tittabawassee River, that the company would likely need to site something on the Tittabawassee river.
 
Here's EPA's comments in 2005 after a call with the Corp of Engineers about the DMDF:
 
 Ken Westlake’s (EPA)   "DOW WILL ARGUE THAT THEY SHOULDN’T HAVE TO BE MORE PROTECTIVE IN THEIR SEDIMENT CLEANUP AND DISPOSAL"
 
 

We await the LG's decision. But here's what we know at this moment:

 

There is no slurry wall

No ground water permits

No Operational Management Plan

No threshold for dioxin levels

No commitment from the Board of Commissioners that this cannot be used by Dow

This site is cloaked in the ADR

The report by Environ, stating no need for a slurry wall,  ( much cheaper) was paid for by Dow Chemical

The Corp and County from day one did not have the money to do this project

There is limited knowledge of the levels of dioxin in the navigational channel

The highest concentrations of dioxin ever in any river were found in the Saginaw River

There have been no public meetings on this site in three years

There is no NPDES permit

There has been no cost benefit analysis produced for this site

It sets in the middle of the Crow Island Game Reserve

It's in the flood way of the Saginaw River

 

Please somebody give me one good reason why this site should go forward without further inquiry, investigation, discussion, permits and a full vetting of all details. This is a bad, bad precedent for a watershed in recovery.

 

Please go to www.dredgeitright.org  to view congressional testimony about the Corp of Engineers many flaws in planning and environmental protection. We can and should do better.

 

Best Regards,

Michelle Hurd Riddick

Lone Tree Council

 

Zilwaukee Twp Letter

                                                                                          
    
 

TOWNSHIP OF ZILWAUKEE

6189 Sherman Road

Saginaw, Michigan  48604

 

Mailing address:       Patricia Bradt, clerk

                                                7600 Melbourne Road

                                                Saginaw, Michigan  48604

                                                Phone & Fax 989.753.6036

                                   

 TOWNSHIP OF ZILWAUKEE

6189 Sherman Road
Saginaw, Michigan 48604
Mailing address: Patricia Bradt, clerk
600 Melbourne Road
Saginaw, Michigan     48604                                                                                                                                   Phone & Fax 989.753.6036


                                                 A “Family” Community Living and Growing Together
 

Protectors of Human Life, preserving our wildlife and “Great Lakes” water

 

April 28, 2008

 

Honorable Lt. Governor John D. Cherry Jr.                Via first class mail

P. O. Box 30013                                                         via fax @ 517.241.3956

Lansing, Michigan  48909

 

Honorable Lt. Governor John D. Cherry Jr.,

 

On behalf of the Township of Zilwaukee we insist you make no decision in regards to the Dredge Management Disposal Facility or “the pit” located in Zilwaukee and Frankenlust Townships until you meet with the residents, citizens and taxpayers of both Townships. 

 

This site was imposed or in better words “dumped” on our communities with minimal transparency without explanation of future plans as to how the Corps will manage the highly contaminated sediments from the Saginaw River.

 

Our Townships were assured a slurry wall would be constructed at the site in addition to testing wells; groundwater permit processes were to follow and have not taken place.  Additional public hearings would take place in an effort to listen to the voices of those involved.  All of the above stated facts are off the negotiation table for those directly involved.  The two townships directly, and the entire Tri-County area are concerned about the Great Lakes and their proper cleanup.

 

A final Operational Management Plan from the Corp of Engineers has not been completed.  There has been no maintenance plan approved and put into effect. No one should make any decisions until the deficiencies outlined by the DEQ in the draft OMP are addressed.

 

Zilwaukee Township’s case before the Department of Environmental Quality Administrative Law Judge is still pending due to noncompliance of agencies to produce the proper documents to operate and maintain such a hazardous waste facility. 

 

There is limited of sampling in the navigational channel, however five miles north are the highest concentrations of dioxin in the nation.  These are acknowledged findings in the Saginaw River. People do live next to this DMDF.

 

 

To:  Lieutenant Governor Cherry dated:  April 28, 2008                        page two

 

The entire Tri-County Area will be effected when these hazardous contaminates are not contained or properly disposed. 

 

Questions Zilwaukee Township would like to ask:

 

Lieutenant Governor Cherry have you ever been out to this site?

 

Have you ever visited the homes of the people who can throw a stone into this pit where these contaminated sediments and rotting organics will be placed?

 

Why would you as our Lieutenant Governor step into a situation such as this with a State Agency here to protect and provide a quality of life for all?

 

If there is any fairness or parity, respect for township government, then you or your representative will agree to meet with us.

 

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

 

Respectfully,

 

 

 

Patricia Bradt, Clerk

Township of Zilwaukee

 

Cc Saginaw County Board of Commissioners

      Bay County Board of Commissioners

     

 

 -------------------------------------------
In fact, more than a decade of reports from the National Academy of Sciences, Government Accountability Office, Army Inspector General, U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, and independent experts have revealed a pattern of stunning flaws in U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project planning and implementation.  And last November, Congress even passed a law that requires the National Academy of Sciences (or similar body) to independently review certain costly or controversial Corps projects. The GAO in 2006 stated: that recent Corps studies “did not provide a reasonable basis for decision-making” because they were “were fraught with errors, mistakes, and miscalculations, and used invalid assumptions and outdated data.” 

 

Source: Lone Tree Council / TRW

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 source organization's web site link is listed above. The Newspaper / Media page of our site contains an extensive archive of media articles dating back to January 2002. The Newspaper / Media page may be accessed by scrolling down to the bottom of the CONTENTS section and clicking on the Newspaper/Media link.