Lone Tree Council and TRW
September 24th, 2004 # 22
Please circulate to anyone you think may be interested
Next TRW- Lone Tree meeting is this Monday night September 27th at the Thomas Twp Library from 6:30 to 8pm
Dow Law Suit Update from Kathy Henry
The Michigan Supreme Court will hear our case on Wednesday, October 6th. This is for the medical monitoring portion of the lawsuit.
Dow contends that there is no law in Michigan to grant medical monitoring to individuals or groups of people unless there is a proven, existing personal injury. They claim that the Supreme Court should not allow us to proceed in the civil court with such a claim. They think it is an issue that needs to be decided by our legislature, not the courts. Boy, isn't that a scary thought!
We will argue that such laws do exist. Consider; businesses already are required by law to monitor their employees for toxic substances they encounter in the workplace. We are living in Dow's "facility" 24/7, not just working in it. We say that the courts are competent to make such a decision, as have many other states in the US.
The fact that the Supreme court was willing to hear our case so soon after both sides written arguments were filed, indicates they will make a decision shortly after this hearing. Then we will FINALLY be able to proceed with the class certification and property damages portion of the case.
The hearing is at 9:30 AM., at the Michigan Hall of Justice in Lansing. (ugh! for all of us night owls). It is important for the judges to see faces of the people they will be making decisions about. Those interested in attending and want to join a carpool for the trip down, please let me know.
Kathy Henry 695-5348 firstname.lastname@example.org
FOUR STATE AGENCIES ISSUE GAME ADVISORY
For only the second time in this state's history a game consumption advisory was issued from Lansing and unfortunately it was issued for our Saginaw Bay Watershed's Tittabawassee River floodplain. The contaminant is dioxin ---brought to you by the Dow Chemical Co. of Midland, MI. MDCH, MDEQ,DNR and Department of Agriculture were in agreement on the advisory.
MDCH Press Release 9-14-04
"Levels of dioxins in the wild game harvested in the floodplain downstream of Midland for the study were up to 7 times higher than samples taken upstream of Midland in deer muscle meat, 118 times higher in deer liver, 66 times higher in turkey, and 40 times higher in squirrel."............
This advisory certainly isn't the benign, harmless picture painted by Dow Chemical in their July press release. Dow Chemical distorts and twists the truth at the peril of public health, property values and natural resource contamination but they do it with impunity. In fact they are rewarded: THE DOW EVENT CENTER (more later)
For additional information on the game advisory go to: http://www.michigan.gov/mdch/0,1607,7-132-8347-100553--M,00.html
For the 2004 Fish Advisory on the Tittabawassee River go to: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/FishAdvisory03_67354_7.pdfhttp://www.michigan.gov/mdch/0,1607,7-132-8347-100553--M,00.html
THE CAMPAIGN FOR A CLEAN WATERSHED
We are off to a great start. Thanks to all of you who purchased T-shirts, took yard signs and signed up in support of the Campaign. Over 100 people have offered their names in support of the Clean Watershed Campaign. All our yard signs are gone and additional ones are being printed. The Dioxin Update e-mail list continues to grow but we recognize there are people without computer access so we hope to compile a mail list and send out updates via snail mail. PLEASE IF YOU HAVE NOT SIGNED UP IN SUPPORT OF THE CLEAN WATERSHED CAMPAIGN DO IT TODAY. Please don't assume that you were automatically put on this list. We wouldn't do that. Go to http://www.trwnews.net/ and click on Clean Watershed Campaign or go to http://cleanwatershed.blog-city.com/ for more information. The fastest way to sign up and lend your name to the Campaign is to e-mail this Dioxin Update back to me with the comment ........."sign me up" ................
DOW FUNDED UM EXPOSURE INVESTIGATION
Saginaw News Op Ed piece in Sunday's paper by Dr. Garabrant of the UM stated, " Dow has no say over how we conduct the research or publish the findings." Dr. Garabrant insists that this study is independent of Dow. A few things to keep in mind about the alleged independence of this study:
The study was proposed by Dow to ATSDR
The study is being funded by Dow
Dow has been present on every conference call with ATSDR and UM to discuss this study the most recent call being this month
Dow submitted written comments on the UM protocol in May 2004 these included comments on:
community advisory panel makeup
You judge the independence of this study for yourself.
If you would like a copy of Dow's comments let me know. Dr. Garabrant's op-ed piece can be found:
A YEAR AGO THIS MONTH AND THE FUTURE OF THE DEQ CAP
It was one year ago this month that Sue Carrington from Dow entertained questions from the DEQ CAP with the promise to get back to us with answers. Like I said.........that was a year ago. Indeed some of the questions asked would best be answered in the context of the activities performed under the license except those activities appear in limbo. However, other questions such as the historic use of Dow property along the river, are pretty basic and straight forward. Yet, there are no answers.
Lone Tree Council did send a letter to DEQ asking for the CAP meetings to once again be convened in some fashion. Every citizen regardless of their position on this issue has a right to be heard. Every stakeholder, interested party needs to be at the table.
It would appear a line in the sand has been drawn to bring finality to the negotiations with Dow. Not sure what's magical about October 31st other than I think we should all contemplate the impact of what could happen after the election on Nov. 2nd. Government operates best with the light of day shining on it. Note worthy that not one elected official seems the slightest bit bothered by the absence of sunlight on this process. Perhaps they are used to doing the business of the people in the shadows of the backroom that it goes unnoticed.
THE CHEMICAL WARS, Part 3
by Peter Montague
[Continuing: We have been describing the philosophy of environmental regulation in the U.S. Basically, it is a "prove harm" system -- anything goes until someone can "line up the dead bodies" and prove that significant harm is occurring. When that happens, which is rare, then a multi-year, or multi-decade, battle begins in which underfunded and understaffed government regulators bargain with a phalanx of corporate lawyers and scientists-for-hire. Eventually they hammer out a compromise between public health and corporate purposes. The compromise becomes an enforceable regulation -- until one corporation or another decides to mount a challenge and the dance begins anew.
This worthwhile commentary by Dr. Montague can be found in its entirety at:
If this first paragraph doesn't describe the events, commentary and scenarios here in Saginaw County I don't know what does.
Michelle Hurd Riddick
Lone Tree Council
Source: Lone Tree Council / TRW
For additional articles like this one, go to the Tittabawasse 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.