Lone Tree Council and TRW
Dioxin Update
January 23rd, 2006 # 61
Until further notice the monthly meetings at Thomas Twp are suspended. Stay tuned for new developments in 2006
This Update List
Recently a couple dozen folks were added to this list because many of you took the time to forward  it to your family and neighbors.  It is much appreciated. Please continue to share the Update and send people to the TRW web site.
Dow Playbook
Dow was granted a  March 1st deadline to submit their plans for the Saginaw River ( confluence to the 6th street turning basin). This is basically the Wickes Park thru downtown Saginaw stretch of the river. In the last few months DEQ and MDCH posted fish advisories along the river because most of the fish are not safe to eat. In the near future additional data on the Saginaw River will be finalized and based on Dow's activity in Saginaw I would submit the dioxin concentrations are going to be high and Dow knows it. Possibly they've known it for a long time.  Why?  Dow's ingratiating and backslapping itself all over Saginaw is just too obvious;  beginning with the Dow Event Center and getting their employees on the board of the Chamber of Commerce in downtown Saginaw.  Dow sponsored the Beethoven and BBQ event downtown. Dow hired MMR to collect samples for the U of M study. Dow recently had an employee appointed to the Board at St. Mary's Hospital.  And there are those lunches with elected officials at the Saginaw Club downtown. The list goes on ..........This is not an attack on these businesses in anyway. They deserve the utmost respect for their long term  commitment to the Saginaw community.  But Dow's omnipresence of late is.........as mentioned above, just a bit too obvious.  Wouldn't be a bit surprised if Dow opened an office in downtown Saginaw in the near future. It's in the playbook.
Dow Plans
Dow Chemical submitted their Remedial Investigation work plans to the DEQ for Midland soils and the Tittabawassee River and floodplain. Dow was granted an extension until March 1 for submittal of plans on the first five miles of the Saginaw River starting at the confluence.

The data collected on the  T- River floodplain and  T- river sediments confirms, supports and reaffirms DEQ's  previous findings and scientific assumptions on the extent of the contamination.  Dioxin is pervasive and concentrated in the frequently flooded areas the of the Tittabawassee River. No surprise there. PLEASE look at those numbers within the 100 year and 8 year floodplain.  

DEQ Dow Meeting

Discussion of these work plans will be the main topic of the next quarterly Midland/Saginaw/Bay City Tri-Cities Dioxin Community Meeting hosted by the DEQ and Dow on Thursday, February 9, 2006, at the Horizons Conference Center in Saginaw. The meeting is open to the public and will run from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. Staff from the DEQ and Dow will be available one-half hour before and after the meeting for individual discussion with the public. Background information and supporting materials for the Community Meetings can be found at http://www.michigan.gov/deqdioxin, then click on the "DEQ/Dow Community Involvement" Quick Link.  The information is overwhelming but worth reviewing. Please put your questions and comments together and take advantage of the opportunity.  


EPA OK with Dow not telling us about their releases

A proposal by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reduce the reporting requirements from industrial polluters will weaken the effectiveness of a database that monitors industrial pollution in communities across the country.  Reducing the information and paper work because it has become " burdensome"( according to EPA) for industry  will only make it more difficult for communities  to fight industrial polluters. It is a major affront to community right to know. 156 Michigan companies, including Dow Chemical,  would no longer be required to fully report toxic chemical discharges to the public if the Bush administration moves forward with a plan to cut back on reporting rules for business.
Earlier this month , Attorney Generals from 12 states submitted comments to the EPA opposing these drastic changes to the Toxic Release Inventory, and they defended the  importance of the  pubic information database that provides citizens with some of the most comprehensive information on toxic releases in their communities.  (To see what is released in your neighborhood, go to http://www.scorecard.org and type in your zip code.  The Michigan Attorney General did not file in opposition to the change.

Zilwaukee Twp and the DMDF 
There is just not enough time to tell you everything ongoing and happening with the Saginaw River Dredge  Materials Disposal Facility which will condemn hundreds of acres of wetland/farmland to a slurry pit for dioxin contaminated sediments from the Saginaw River. The two contested cases filed by the Twp and Lone Tree Council ( with the Administrative Law Judge at DEQ ) were recently bolstered when Frankenlust Twp weighed in on the contested cases  because of disregard for local zoning violations.  Saginaw County Public Works director moved ahead with plans to place contaminated sediments on properties in these two townships without asking permission.  The land was taken under threats of condemnation.
The DEQ, EPA and US Fish and Wildlife have all submitted pages of concerns and out right criticism of the plan but it remains on course with contested cases pending and the party responsible for the dioxin, Dow Chemical, being granted the luxury of sitting back and watching how this all plays out. Saginaw County taxpayers at the end of 20 years will be responsible for this site and Dow's dioxin in perpetuity unless things change. These sediments belong out of the floodplain in a secured site with monitoring capabilities and collection systems. This site is not practical, environmentally feasible or financially sound in the long run.
The disagreement between Zilwaukee Twp and the Public Works Director, Jim Koski, digressed further when Mr. Koski took it upon himself to file, in essence a SLAPP suit, against Zilwuakee Twp for not responding to FOIA request. A request the twp says they never received and Mr. Koski cannot prove he sent. If it were that important Mr. Koski should have sent it certified.  SLAPP suits (Strategic Law Suits against Public Participation)  are initiated in an attempt to intimidate citizens from taking aggressive actions ( like the contested case). They usually are around environmental and development issues.  Talk about Goliath trying to kick David's butt. Mr. Koski said he would drop the suit if Zilwuakee Twp dropped their contested case at the DEQ. As a county employee and elected officials Mr. Koski should not be making this personal or wasting taxpayers money to seek revenge.
Early on the Army Corp of Engineers stated this project was going to be done as cheap as possible. Well you get what you pay for. Only this time the taxpayers and the watershed may end up paying the price for this do it on the cheap project! We are not far away from site preparation and have yet to see a finalized Operational Management Plan for these sediments. You can bet once the site is prepped the dredging will begin.
Lansing State Journal  January 15 2006

Fast action needed to protect Great Lakes from ruin


That's too bad, because the Great Lakes together hold 95 percent of our nation's fresh water. They are an enormous economic driver to the region, supporting something like 250,000 jobs in the region. Boating alone is a $35 billion-a-year industry, while fishing, hunting and wildlife account for $18 billion.

More to the point, the Great Lakes one of the few landmarks on earth visible from space define Michigan's environmental present and represent our economic future as does nothing else.

Unlike manufacturing jobs or the auto industry, you can't move the Great Lakes offshore to China. They are going to be there essentially forever, and if we let them be ruined it will be our forever-lasting sin. And we don't have much time to save them.

Best Regards,

Michelle Hurd Riddick

Lone Tree Council

" Here is your country----do not let anyone take it or its glory away from you. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skim your country of its beauty, its riches, or its romance. The world and the future and your very children shall judge you according to how you deal with this sacred trust." --------------Teddy Roosevelt

Source:  one 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.