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