Lone Tree Council and TRW
October 12 , 2005 # 51
Zilwaukee Dredge Site
Contrary to the statements in Sunday's Oct. 2nd Saginaw News Editorialhttp://www.mlive.com/news/sanews/index.ssf?/base/news-1/1128268254287780.xml&coll=9
the proposed disposal site for dioxin laden spoils from the Saginaw River navigational dredge is not water tight and to the best of my knowledge the DEQ did not sign off on the project. The Army Corp of Engineers (ACE) submitted their Operational Management Plan (OMP) to the DEQ for comment and those comments have yet to be addressed by the ACE. Comments on this Management Plan are highly critical of the long term management and integrity of this site.
One DEQ Water Bureau official argued he could not conduct a complete review of the Management Plan because the Corp of Engineers did not submit a construction plan or design specifications for the disposal site. Unbelievable? There's more.
Another omission sited by DEQ : " The management plan must address human exposures to contaminants( i.e. from dust, through groundwater)"
Another concern sited by DEQ: " Leaving 280 acres of contaminated 1-2 feet of water during the fall and spring migratory bird season..............."
One more of many: "The OMP does not address the maintenance of the structure to ensure the integrity of the floor of the DMDF and the prevention of contaminant releases to the groundwater underlying the DMDF."
Lost in all debate over this issue is that fact that real people, children and families live in and around this proposed slurry pit. These so called NIMBYs are called upon by the Saginaw News to "evaluate their concerns with the region's greater good in mind". Officials in Zilwaukee Twp heard from their residents, evaluated the issue and determined they are not willing to be the sacrificial lamb for a project done on the cheap, poorly scoped out and absent any effort to find a site out of the floodplain.
Do you hear the Saginaw News calling upon Dow to consider the region's greater good and take responsibility? No. Yet the residents of this county are expected to make the sacrifice and take out an insurance policy against inevitable contamination.
Lone Tree Council Chairman, Terry Miller, did a great job responding to the Saginaw News editorial. You can find his comments at:
The numerous comments submitted by DEQ technical staff have to be vetted at the executive level in state government. It's a sure thing that politics and NOT science permitted this project to get as far as it did without adequate public health protection and environmental safeguard. DEQ technical staff did their jobŠŠŠŠŠ we all await the next steps to be taken by the decision makers in Lansing.
If your interested in copies of the DEQ comments, send an e-mail toMichdave@aol.com.
From Dave Lindhardt
I want to share an e-mail from a retired Dow scientist who has been very critical of a Dow's so called Healthy Worker studies and the manipulation and omissions in data they put out for public consumption in attempt to minimize the toxicity of dioxin. I would encourage all of you to read the following and go to the link provided and read the story of Sarah.
While corporations crank up the PR and politicians ponder and labor over their next steps, and we fight our daily environmental battles, we often forget that real people with families and children are the victims of the chemical trespass we are all forced to live in. My hope is that Dave will continue to share these stories with all of us. Dave Linhardt is author of www.dioxinspin.com.
Dow's mortality studies provide ample evidence that employee death rates from certain cancers are elevated, some being statistically significant. Due to a lack of data, we do not know if a similar increase in mortality has been experienced by persons living in Midland and riverside neighborhoods which have high levels of dioxin contamination.
Statistics have definite value but they do not provide any information about the persons that died prematurely or the pain and loss suffered by their family and friends. In fact, "medical privacy" laws prohibit the release of personal information. Perhaps, if a name and a history was associated with each premature death, the long overdue correct action would have been already implemented.
In the spring, I placed an ad in the Midland Daily News requesting contact with anyone that believes his/her illness or a death is related to dioxin exposure. The response was far greater than expected.
From time to time, I would like to share what I know about a person whose death may have been related to dioxin exposure and whose death came too early.
Let me introduce you to "Sarah" http://www.mdn-rejected.com/editorials.htm
Rocky Mountain News, Oct 12 2005
Flats jury told 'lies continue'
Plaintiffs' lawyers: Operators routinely downplayed perils
"Davidoff said former operators Dow Chemical Co. and Rockwell International, and the U.S. Department of Energy that employed them, still refuse to account publicly for 2,600 pounds of radioactive plutonium that went missing from Rocky Flats during the 37 years the plant made nuclear weaponsŠ."These two companies polluted an entire neighborhood just northwest of Denver with plutonium and other dangerous substances," Davidoff said. "They lied about it, and they covered it up for 37 years."
Still later, it became the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge, "where they're going to try to promote the myth that it's safe for animals and children to romp and play," Davidoff said.
This story is illustrative of how Dow Chemical pollutes the nest of the communities they do business in and then down play the toxicity of their pollution: Denver Co., Plaquemine,LA., Seadrift, TX., New Zealand, Saginaw, MI., Bhopal India, the list goes on and on. If you look into the history, read media stories from impacted communities and talk with the residents it all becomes so very obvious. Dow has a game book and the strategy is the same:
Create Community Advisory Panels
Inundate the community with studies
Challenge science from the regulatory agencies
Hold informational sessions for the media
Call in industry friendly legislators
Deny the toxicity of the chemical
Work behind closed doors
Corral the movers and shakers in the community
Threaten to take state regulators to court
Highly critical on my part and not real comfortable conversation for a lot of people but it's the truth. There is a deference granted Dow, a sort of willingness on the part of many to not question Dow too harshly, or demand that Dow play by the rules like everyone else. People are all too willing to change the rules for Dow, change the law for Dow and have children, families, natural resources take a back seat to whims of this corporation. We all have an obligation to demand the truth, a level playing field and accountability. We all have an obligation as members of this community to do be honest, play on a level field and be accountable. Wishful thinking, perhaps.
Speaking of changing the law for Dow Chemical
Under the guise of homeowner fairness our local state legislators, Goschka, Moolenaar and Kahn want to change Michigan's Part 201 law which defines the boundaries that the Dow Chemical ( or any company) is responsible to cleanup. HB 4617 and SB 390 will impede cleanup and permit Dow to use the study they paid for to determine cleanup levels. How accommodating. The genesis of this legislation is important and revealing. We will be addressing this issue in the next Dioxin Update.
Dioxin in the Watershed Series
We are working on the third presentation in our speaker series for sometime late November or early December. So stay tuned. As soon as things are wrapped up we'll get the word out.
Decision on the Henry et al vs Dow
The class certification decision announcement has been rescheduled by Judge
Borrello until October 21st at 11:00 am due to a problem related to the hearing transcript.
Enjoy the beauty of the season. As always you are encouraged to share this update. If you would like to be removed from this list just send an e-mail toMichdave@aol.com
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.