Lone Tree Council and TRW Dioxin Update

May 18th , 2005 #42


Last week The National Wildlife Federation ( www.nwf.org) and Lone Tree Council filed a contested case before an administrative law judge in Lansing challenging the DEQ issuance of a water discharge permit for the dredge disposal facility in Zilwaukee Twp. These dredged sediments from the Saginaw River are highly contaminated with Dow's dioxin as well as mercury and PCB's. It is our position that the permit issued (401) by DEQ is in violation of the CWA because it will permit unlimited discharge of highly contaminated water off of this site back into the Saginaw River and Bay of Lake Huron. Lone Tree Council and NWF support the navigational dredging of the Saginaw River but it is imperative for long term environmental and economic benefit that it be done correctly.


Michelle Hurd Riddick

Lone Tree Council

Discharge Permit for Dredging Facility Violates
Clean Water Act, Organizations Assert in Lawsuit

National Wildlife Federation, Lone Tree Council Challenge Permit Allowing
For the Discharge of Toxic Dioxin, Mercury and PCBs into Saginaw River

ANN ARBOR, MI (May 18)–Conservation organizations asked an administrative law judge to nullify a permit that would allow toxic pollutants including dioxin, mercury and PCBs to be discharged into the Saginaw River.

The National Wildlife Federation and Lone Tree Council are challenging as illegal under the Clean Water Act a permit issued by Michigan Department of Environmental Quality that authorizes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to discharge toxic pollutants from a dredged material disposal facility into the Saginaw River at concentrations higher than allowed for the Great Lakes.

"The state of Michigan failed to require limits on toxic pollutants as mandated by law to protect the quality and safety of Great Lakes water," said Neil Kagan, senior counsel for National Wildlife Federation’s Great Lakes office. "Under the permit approved by the state, the contamination of the Saginaw River will be perpetuated, and this is not acceptable."

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers applied for the permit as part of its effort to dredge the Saginaw River to accommodate commercial navigation. The Corps intends to build a dredged material disposal facility in Zilwaukee Township, Saginaw County. The facility will discharge effluent containing toxic pollutants into the Saginaw River.

"We support the dredging of the Saginaw River for commercial navigation," said Michelle Hurd Riddick of the Lone Tree Council. "However, we remain very concerned about the tradeoffs in terms of public health, resource protection and environmental impacts associated with this site. The Saginaw Bay Watershed has already been identified as one of the most-polluted in the region. We need policies that restore this vital system, not exacerbate its condition."

For Immediate Release: May 18, 2005

Contact: Neil Kagan, National Wildlife Federation – (734) 769-3351 x38

Michelle Hurd Riddick, Lone Tree Council – (989) 799-3313

Jordan Lubetkin, National Wildlife Federation – (734) 904-1589

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.