TRWand Lone Tree Council Update

July 2nd 2004


MDEQ Budget Conference Committee Named

Senate - Senators McManus, Goschka, Barcia
House - Representatives Pastor, Moolenaar, Brown

SB 1066
-- MDEQ Budget - fiscal year 2004-05, the House approved a budget for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) that reinstated the Hazardous Waste Management Program, but retained reductions in staffing levels by 8%, and reduces general fund support for the department by 15%.

The bill also includes $800,000 to pay for a dioxin bio-availability study using Clean Michigan Initiative (CMI) funding (1998 bond approved by the voters for contamination cleanups).

The authorizing language established in the CMI legislation back in 1997 states that if a responsible party exists that taxpayers will not be burdened with the cost.

(e) That the responsibility for the cost of response activities pertaining to a release or threat of release and repairing injury, destruction, or loss to natural resources caused by a release or threat of release should not be placed upon the public except when funds cannot be collected from, or a response activity cannot be undertaken by, a person liable under this part.

(f) That liability for response activities to address environmental contamination should be imposed upon those persons who are responsible for the environmental contamination.

The use of CMI money to pay for a study to benefit the Dow Chemical Company is an inappropriate use of those funds - and breaks a promise to voters who supported the CMI bonds.
At the same time, no new sites of environmental contamination are being addressed by the state due to budget shortfalls.

Contact the conferees, tell them to:

1) Restore the 15% cut
2) Remove language requiring a 8% staff reduction
3) Delete bio-availability study (section 703).

Contact information:

Legislative Action next week may be limited to Tuesday (7/6).

Sen. McManus:

Sen. Goschka:

Sen. Barcia:

Rep. Pastor:

Rep. Moolenaar:

Rep. Brown:

Submitted by James Clift
Michigan Environmental Council


In a nutshell, Moolenaar is basically threatening and holding the DEQ hostage to force them to do Dow Chemical's bidding. Moolenaar is willing to forgo environmental protection, clean air and clean water all in his quest to make his number one constituency happy. Why, because Moolenar and his ilk think Dow is above the law.

The reckless attempt to legislatively detoxify dioxin by raising permissible soil levels to 1,000ppt has been put on hold but remains a lingering threat. Imagine.............Michigan, the state most clearly defined by its watery borders having the distinction of the state with the highest levels of dioxin in the US. It boggles the mind.

The following is one of my favorite quotes and it happens to be most applicable at this time:

"Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to befoul the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of today."
-- Theodore Roosevelt.


Take care and have a safe and enjoyable Fourth!

Michelle Hurd Riddick

Lone Tree Council


For additional articles like this one, go to the Tittabawasse River Watch web site 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.