Lone Tree Council & TRW
Dioxin Update
December 8, 2005 # 56
HB 4617 Passes both the Senate and the House
Today the House concurred with  the amended version of the Senate bill. Sad day indeed.
This legislation is and always was about Dow Chemical even to the end. It's about making it as cumbersome as possible for cleanup to proceed and for the DEQ to do their job of protecting the environment and public health. This legislation ignores the movement of contaminated sediments and soils, some at  significant depths that move with each high water event. How many samples are required? At what depth? This legislation denies the good scientists at DEQ the ability to make reasonable scientific assumptions as to the movement of these highly contaminated sediments.
Without the facility designation there is no responsibility on the part of the liable party to respond.
Thanks to Senator Goschka the taxpayers get to pick up some of Dow Chemical's costs.  We get to pick up some of the cost to determine where the contamination is located. So in Dow's feeble attempts to determine where the boundaries of their contamination are..............the taxpayers take the financial hit for areas which define the boundary and are not contaminated. How these legislators could shift any portion of the cost of discovering the location of Dow's dioxin onto the taxpayers is nothing short of irresponsible.
Shame on all the legislators who voted for these bills. For putting monied interest ahead of public health and the restoration of our rivers and communities. Shame on them for working so hard to enhance the already powerful at the expense of the people and Michigan's largest watershed.
In the Senate, 19 Republicans and one Democrat - Jim Barcia of Bay City - voted for the bill. Fourteen Democrats and two Republicans - Patty Birkholz of Saugatuck and Tom George of Portage - voted against it. Buzz Thomas, D-Detroit, and Shirley Johnson, R-Troy, were absent and did not vote.

In the House, 32 Democrats voted against the bill. Seven Democrats did not vote: Carl Williams of Saginaw, Brenda Clack of Flint, Michael Murphy of Lansing, and Marsha Cheeks, Lamar Lemmons III, Lamar Lemmons Jr. and Virgil Smith of Detroit.

Governor Granholm needs to veto this legislation.
Report: Don't kid yourself - toxins persist in the Great Lakes
Booth Newspapers - Sarah Kellogg
WASHINGTON -- Toxic chemical concentrations in the Great Lakes remain a threat to humans, animals and fish, and not enough people know of the hazards, a new report concludes.

The draft report was completed by the Scientific Advisory Board to the International Joint Commission, a U.S.-Canada agency that oversees boundary water issues, and will be officially released next month.


 Knowing that, the panel recommends that the IJC modify its fish advisory advice to the two nations, suggesting that a single advisory be developed to cover contaminants such as PCBs, dioxins, pesticides and methylmercury.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------This report was disheartening. These Great Lakes are in trouble. Why? Because, with total disregard for tourism being our third largest industry, legislators pass irresponsible short sighted legislation like HB 4617. The report identifies dioxin as one of the contaminants that remain a threat. Cleanup up of migrating contamination in a timely manner has to be a priority. The Tittabawassee and Saginaw Rivers will continue to be an ongoing source of high concentrations of dioxin to Lake Huron so long as regulators are timid, citizen's are apathetic, legislators shortsighted, leaders lack courage and some in the business community choose not to be responsible.

So long as we buy into the false choices of jobs or the environment we are doomed. Economic prosperity is not incumbent on people living in and around pollution or us accepting that we cannot have fishable,  swimmable waters or jobs.


Best Regards,

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.