August 22, 2007 #98
Petitioned Health Consultation on the Saginaw River
It's been awhile but we did hear the our petitioned health consultation to ATSDR ( Agency for Toxics Substance and Disease Registry) may be completed by Michigan Department of Community Health and submitted to the agency for their comments by summers end. The petitioners, 20 plus residents, two physicians and several environmental groups petitioned ATSDR and MDCH for a public health assessment for the following reasons:
In June 2006 ATSDR agreed there was enough information available to pursue our request for a health consultation. MDCH, in a cooperative agreement with ATSDR, has the lead on this endeavor. We all appreciate their commitment!
Summary of DEQ/DOW meeting August 9th
1. HOT SPOT presentations gave an extensive overview of removal activities in the various reaches. Most impressive. Remains a reason to celebrate. Thanks to MDN and WSGW for always showing up to cover these meetings and for their commitment to keep the public informed. This link www.epaosc.net/tittabawasseeDioxinReachD will take you to the August 16th update of activity on reach D.
2. CITY of MIDLAND is keeping secreted away with the law firm of Miller Canfield data on soil sampling/locations in the city. That this is permitted and tolerated is astounding. That is is happening however is not surprising. Apparently if the contamination is not made public it really cannot exist and everything is really pleasant and perfect in Midland, MI.
3. U of M STUDY The regulatory agencies have yet to receive the requested data from Dr. Garabrant's U of M Exposure Investigation. This is the data requested 18 months ago. Dr. Franz Blau from the UM doesn't know when the study would be finalized and acknowledged the study data has not gone through the rigors of peer reviewed journals. (Which has not stopped Dow from marketing it to every elected/public official who will listen to them) The regulatory agencies have pretty much declined to comment on the use of the UM EI until such time as they have all the data in hand. DEQ pointed out the UM EI gives a great deal of "averages" which do cover highly exposed/vulnerable populations........which would be the region's children, fish consumers, pregnant women.
4. SAGINAW RIVER NEW HIGH of 32,000 ppt was found in the 6th street turning basin in a bed load sample- meaning the dioxin was at the sediment surface and mobile. Concentrations varied between non-detect and 32,000 ppt.
5. SEDIMENT TRAP STUDIES final report is due in March of 2008. These traps may well become an integral part of finally capturing the dioxins that have been moving out into Lake Huron for decades. Like the above mentioned bed load. EPA 10/04 document :
"The Saginaw River is a significant source of dioxin to the Great Lakes. The floodplain soils as well as the sediments within the watershed are highly contaminated with dioxins and furans. Much, if not all of this contamination is thought to have originated in Midland. Throughout much of the twentieth century, hydraulic forces within the watershed have dispersed these contaminants downstream throughout the Tittabawassee and Saginaw River Watershed. Currently dioxin and furan contaminated sediments can be found extending into Lake Huron. "
6. SAMPLING OF THE MIDDLE TITTABAWASSEE RIVER will take place throughout the summer. Thousands of samples will be taken looking for dioxin/furans and whole list of other nasty chemicals. This sampling will go to the State Street bridge.
7. DOW IS GAINING ACCESS to properties along the Tittabawassee River in Midland County for sampling.
8. MDEQ USE OF 90 PPT IS SUPPORTED BY EPA : For years Dow has misrepresented EPA's position on Michigan's use of 90 ppt as well as EPA's guidelines for dioxin in soils. LONE TREE COUNCIL asked for clarification from EPA. Here are the highlights from EPA's ( Mr. Greg Rudloff ) response which LTC shared with the audience:
"With respect to the Dow RCRA corrective action site, site-specific circumstances warrant a different level, and a more stringent state level applies."
"A site-specific human health risk assessment that includes these additional exposure pathways will likely result in a different dioxin clean-up level for the Dow RCRA corrective action site."
"Since MDEQ is both authorized for the RCRA program and is the lead agency for this project, the state’s standard is applicable. U.S. EPA will generally use the authorized state’s cleanup standard for projects within that state."
"In addition, U.S. EPA believes that MDEQ’s default dioxin cleanup criteria of 90 ppt is entirely consistent with U.S. EPA's residential cleanup level when both levels are normalized to the same target risk goal. "
"Therefore, MDEQ’s derivation of 90 ppt cleanup criteria is consistent with the way that U.S. EPA derives cleanup criteria when the values are normalized to the same target risk."
A journal, TOXICOLOGY states dioxins most potent in humans
Volume 225, Issues 2-3, 15 August 2006
Comparison of the 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD)-induced CYP1A1 gene expression profile in lymphocytes from mice, rats, and humans: Most potent induction in humans.
Searched for this article after coming across a reference to it in the EPA's June 7th comments about Dow Chemical's not using current scientific information and picking and choosing research that supports their position.
By Sally Applegate/Correspondent
GateHouse News Service
Wed Aug 15, 2007, 04:45 PM EDT
The vote was unanimous. Last Thursday Georgetown’s Conservation Commission voted to fine West Street developer Richard Morello $300 a day, retroactive to July 31, for his failure to remove dioxin-contaminated soil from the former Tidd junkyard on West Street.
Test results on the dirt excavated for removal from the West Street site have shown an average dioxin concentration of four parts per trillion, and so far no private landfill owners have been willing to accept it as fill.
Luker said that in order to cap the West Street site — burying and covering the contaminated soil — the applicant would have to demonstrate there is no threat to Georgetown’s wetlands or water supply.
“We’re definitely trying to work with this client to clean up this site and protect the environment and the town’s drinking water supply,” said Przyjemski.
Next Update coming along soon!
Michelle Hurd Riddick
Lone Tree Council
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.