Lone Tree Council TRW
Dioxin Update # 57
December 9th 2005
Senate OKs controversial 'facility' bill
The Saginaw News - Jeremiah Stettler
Granholm not likely to sign homeowner bill
Midland Daily News - Cheryl Wade

Great Lakes' healing mechanisms under attack, scientists say

12/8/2005, 6:09 p.m. ET
The Associated Press


TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) As wetlands disappear and shorelines are degraded, the Great Lakes are losing their ability to cope with environmental stress and ward off a catastrophic breakdown, scientists said Thursday.

Advocates are pressuring the administration for major new spending on a wide-ranging effort to fix problems ranging from the exotic species invasion to severely polluted "hot spots." They are calling for $20 billion over 15 years, mostly from the federal government but also from states and local governments.
Chamber of Commerce
An action alert was  sent out yesterday  by the Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce urging their members to support HB 4617 S3.  The letter will be up on the TRW web site this weekend for viewing. We all understand that it is the job of the Chamber to advance business. It's unfortunate that they view a clean environment as a competing interest. There is an economic  value and quality of life that comes with clean rivers and healthy environments.........the concept however is not lost on all the Chamber members because a couple members saw fit to send the alert to us.
The Chamber alleges  a " fringe environmental group" is attacking our Rep. Moolenaar, Kahn and Senators Goschka and Barcia in radio ads. Not true. Attacks are personal. The votes of these legislators are fair game. The Lone Tree Council paid for the spots on WSGW- WGER and we stated so at the end of each radio ad.   It's disappointing that Veronica Horn used the  word "fringe". It conjures up some pretty negative connotations and its use was by design. Veronica was free to use Lone Tree Council's name. She chose not to.
In the letter to their members the Chamber demands " sound science" from the DEQ. Sound science is the mantra of Dow Chemical. Perhaps someone someday will be good enough to define sound science and identify an instance when DEQ used something other than sound science.    If we look back on the history of "sound science," and its frequent use by the  anti-regulatory community, it would appear "sound science"  means removing all doubt about the toxicity of a chemical before the government can act to protect public health and the environment.  The call for sound science can be traced back to Dow Chemical's  Paul F. Oreffice  who in 1983 announced that a $3 million program to allay fears of dioxin pollution in Michigan would use "sound science" to "reassure" the public.
The Chamber action alert  goes on to state that for  two years these legislators attempted to get a response from DEQ  for hundreds of residents? You need to know that those hundreds of residents are in Midland NOT  in Saginaw County where the contamination is much more pervasive and concentrated.  What we did see in Saginaw County was hundreds of residents living on contaminated property whose concern was not  about being a facility. ..................Their concern was the dioxin from Dow Chemical being deposited on their property by the Tittabawassee River. These people await their day in court in the class action.
"Home Owner's Fairness" is smoke and mirrors and so is the " sound science" mantra  and the Chamber knows it. This legislation is designed to benefit Dow Chemical, delay cleanup and it is intended to hamstring the DEQ. If you read the article in the Midland Daily News ( above) you can see the City of Midland taking on DEQ. For two years properties were listed as facilities and not word one from anybody............then the DEQ, enforcing Dow's license, wanted to commence with testing in Midland. All of a sudden being a facility was a problem for Midland and these elected officials.
The story from the AP ( above) talks about the urgency  to clean up toxic hot spots around the Great Lakes as a means to ward off a collapse of this great water resource. Anyone who believes that the dioxin contamination permeating the Tittabawassee and Saginaw River does not constitute a "hot spot", needs to pull their head out of the sand. HB 4617 will delay cleanup and Senator Goschka had no problem admitting it.
Our water resources are our greatest economic resource and  one of our greatest quality of life assets. We could only hope that someday the Chamber of Commerce would acknowledge the same.  Tourism remains our third largest  industry. It is the position of the Lone Tree Council that economic development and a clean environment can co-exist and in fact will compliment each other for years to come.
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.