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TRW Archives 2004 2nd quarter 4/1/04 - 6/30/04

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6/26/04  Removing "facility" label may not remove responsibility to disclose dioxin contamination.

Anyone supporting the movement to remove the "facilities" label from contaminated properties in Midland and the Tittabawassee flood plain need to consider all of it's implications.  The following is NOT legal advise, just some opinions.   As always, when buying or selling property, consult your own attorney.

bulletReview the Seller's Disclosure form for Michigan.  The key provision is paragraph 10, which requires the seller to disclose environmental issues, including contaminated soil.  Thus, the form itself would require that a seller notify the buyer of dioxin contamination, regardless of whether or not the property is designated a facility. 
bulletOne possible scenario of a successful removal of the "facility" label and supporting "resolutions" and petitions.
bullet"Under Michigan law, you must disclose any material defect to a potential buyer.   No where does Michigan law link the definition of a material defect to the definition of a facility.  Whether an existing situation constitutes a material defect is often decided on a case by case basis, with a jury being the trier of fact as to whether the condition constitutes a material defect.  Thus, the existence of a toxic substance such as dioxin on a property could well be considered a material defect, regardless of whether the state has designated the property a "facility" for regulatory purposes. In fact, there is nothing that says that the presence on a property of a toxic substance, even in amounts below state action levels, does not constitute a material defect.  That would be a question for a court and jury to answer on a case by case basis."
bullet"In this instance, the resolution proposed by some individuals in the township does not, and cannot, under Michigan law, protect sellers from failing to disclose the presence or likely presence of dioxin on their properties.  In some ways, it actually works against sellers, because an argument could be made that sellers recognized the potential significance of the presence of dioxin on their properties, but took affirmative steps, not only not to disclose, but to actively hide that fact by demanding that a state agency remove a facility label from their property. This action alone lends strong evidence to an argument that the sellers knew about the defect, and that such a failure to disclose was not an accident, but was willful. Thus, it is possible that the resolution could become an exhibit for the purpose of proving not just a failure to disclose, but affirmative fraud and punitive damages."

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6/21/04  Governor Granholm meets with Citizens over concern with dioxin

In a 45 minute session on Monday afternoon, representatives of the MEC, Lone Tree, TRW, and individual citizens met with Governor Jennifer Granholm, Lieutenant Governor Cherry, and MDEQ Director Steven Chester over our concerns about the Dow Chemical dioxin contamination of Midland and the Tittabawassee River flood plain.  A few highlights:

bulletThe Governor assured us of her interest in protecting the publics health.
bulletThe Governor was very interested in hearing first hand accounts of people who must live their lives in the poisoned soil and the impact it has had on their families health and property.
bulletWe expressed our concern with the out of control Dow backed legislators efforts to dismantle our environmental agencies and laws to suit the needs of a corporation in lieu of public health.  These individuals are doing anything but "representing" their constituents.
bulletWe emphasized that the dioxin Residential Direct Contact Criteria (RDCC) should remain at it's current level of 90 ppt TEQ based on the mountain of "sound" scientific evidence relating low dose dioxin exposure to human disease.  Comparing 90 ppt Vs 1000 ppt dioxin is like comparing apples to oranges, the 90 ppt RDCC is designed to prevent the development of disease in humans,  whereas the ATSDR 1000 ppt action level is a red flag accompanied by the wail of warning sirens.
bulletWe encouraged the Governor to continue supporting the staff and scientists of the MDEQ and MDCH in their efforts to protect the health of Michigan's citizens.
bulletWe asked that the whole process of finding a resolution remain an open and transparent process which includes the participation of the citizens who are affected.
bulletRequest no state funds be used for further stuides, the issue has been studied to death.
bulletRequest there be no delay in action while current studies are underway.
bulletRequest clean up of residential properties with high levels of dioxin, prioritizing areas where kids are exposed.
bulletWe stated we do not seek the demise of the Dow Chemical Company and recognize it's importance to Michigans's economy.  However, there must be a balance in the equation of profits Vs public health.  Dow has the capacity to do what is right for the citizens of Midland and the floodplain, unfortunately, for now, they have chosen a different path. 
bulletClick here for Press Release

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6/18/04  Why does Midland County have one of the highest incidents of diabetes in the nation?

Mike Krecek, Midland County Health Director, announced at the Midland 5/26/04 meeting that for some unknown "reason", Midland County residents have a consistently higher incidence of diabetes than the rest of Michigan and the nation.   Could it be the dioxin laden yards of city residents?  A clear link between diabetes and dioxin exists and the rest of the world recognizes it.  To our knowledge, no study has been initiated, even though Mr. Krecek has know about this for 2 years.   Click here for more.

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Source: Midland County Health Department
(Click on image for larger view, press Back key to return to this page)

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6/15/04  Letters of support from around the country: Do NOT raise Michigan's dioxin standard

The following are a few of many letter, faxes, and emails sent to Michigan's representative Koetje and all members of the Committee on Governmental Affairs.  The commttee was to discuss HB 5963 today, however it was removed from the agenda at the last minute with no explaination.  For details on why standard should NOT be changed to 1000 ppt, click here.   Click here to see House Bill 5963 (Senate bill 1276 is identical)

bulletKatherine R. Silberman, JD,  Associate Director Center for Environmental Health
bullet"... .  Dioxin is known to cause cancer in minute amounts.  As an elected official, you bear a deep responsibility to protecting the public’s health.  Please stand up to Dow and instead, stand with the people of Michigan in the pursuit of healthy bodies and a healthy environment for your beautiful state. ..."
bulletClick here to view entire letter
bulletTed Schettler MD, MPH, Department of Internal Medicine Boston Medical Center and Science Director SEHN
bullet"...  State and Federal criteria restrict their focus to cancer as the outcome of concern, though we now know that other health effects occur at lower levels of exposure and may affect the entire population. In fact, due to the array of low-level effects, scientists today are uncertain about the threshold amount of dioxin that may begin to cause or contribute to illness in people. Moreover, dioxin-related health effects are often "hidden" in the general burden of disease and disability in the community. Trying to identify them as "caused by dioxin" is a fruitless task. ..."
bulletClick here to view entire letter
bulletJudith Robinson, Special Projects Director, Environmental Health Fund
bullet"...As an early advocate for veterans on this issue [of dioxin exposure] I found that one of the most tragic aspects of the entire struggle was the record of deceit and cover-up practiced by the government and the chemical companies responsible for the manufacture of dioxin, including the giants Dow and Monsanto...."
bulletClick here to view entire letter
bulletJoseph DiGangi, PhD, Director, International POPs Elimination Project EHF
bullet"... The events unfolding in Michigan are being observed internationally. I direct an international NGO project on persistent organic pollutants (such as dioxin) in partnership with two UN agencies with activities planned in 40 countries. International NGOs as well as intergovernmental agencies are paying close attention to issues involving dioxin and other persistent organic pollutants due to the legal entry into force of the Stockholm Convention. Dow Chemical’s legacy in many of our project countries makes public interest NGOs throughout the world especially focused on events in Michigan to see whether the legislature will support public health by maintaining the 90 ppt standard. ..."
bulletClick here to view entire letter
bulletJames Clift,  Policy Director Michigan Environmental Council
bullet" ... The Michigan Environmental Council opposes HB 5963 and urges the committee to vote "no". The "action level" proposed as our new cleanup standard is inappropriate. As stated above, this level of exposure would cause an "urgent public health hazard" – not a level considered safe for prolonged public exposure. ..."
bulletClick here to view entire letter
bulletPaul Sutton, Chair Vietnam Veterans of America  Agent Orange/Dioxin Committee
bullet" ... Research has repeatedly shown that low levels of dioxin (30ppt – 100ppt) cause the greatest damage to humans and their offspring, from initial exposure out to 30 years and beyond the initial exposure.  Raising the floor at which human tolerance has already demonstrated adverse affect wll only serve to expose far more citizens of the Wolverine State and consequently serve to drastically elevate health care costs in future years for those citizens least able to afford them. ..."
bulletClick here to view entire letter
bulletKathy Henry, Tittabawassee River floodplain resident, Freeland MI
bullet"... Were you aware that Midland has the highest level of diabetes in the
nation? There is a very strong link between dioxin exposure and diabetes. There
has never even been a study done of just the affected residents in Midland and
those who live on the highly contaminated Tittabawassee River. ..."
bulletClick here to view entire letter

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6/14/04  Vietnam Veterans of America against raising Michigans 90 ppt dioxin standard

To: The Honorable James Koetje, Chairman
Michigan House Government Operations Committee

Dear Sir:

Having read the levels of dioxin in the Tittabawassee River and the surrounding flood Plain being 4500ppt and as much as 9500ppt, I am outraged that you or any one else would put property Value above Human Health. These Levels are 3x's higher than the worst places in Vietnam and as a 3x cancer survivor from the effects of dioxin. I, sir, do know that any increase in the standard of 90ppt. would lessen the level of clean ups and that would be inadequate and detrimental to the health of many and for as many as thirty plus years in the future. It may take that long to affect people. That is how long before it affected me after exposure.

Thank you, sir for listening.

Darrell Parrott
Vietnam Veterans of America
National Agent Orange/Dioxin Committee
Chairman AO/D Sub-Committee for Environmental Hazards

TRW note: For details on why standard should NOT be changed to 1000 ppt, click here

Click here to see House Bill 5963 (Senate bill 1276 is identical)

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6/12/04  Dioxin studies page added to this website

At the request of many, a new page has been added to this site to sumarize all in one place any relevant dioxin studies and/or reports.    Below are a few lines from the summary table.  To view the entire summary, visit our "Summaries" page, click here   or on the "Studies" link in the content area to the left.  The table will be updated on a regular basis with new studies and status updates.

Study Sponsor Status Start Due   Background Results
Midland County Incidence of Diabetes exceeds state and national averages - why? Midland County Health Dept Unknown ? ? Background
Diabetes & dioxin
NA
Pilot Exposure Investigtion (PEI) MDCH Inprogress Jun 03 Dec 04 Scope of work
CAP Q&A
Pending
T.River Wild Game Dow Overdue Nov 03 Feb 04 Scope of work
CAP Q&A
Pending
T.River Aquatic Ecological Risk Assessment MDEQ Complete Jan 03 Dec 03 CAP presentation
CAP Q&A
Final Rpt

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6/10/04  Where are results of Dow  T.River floodplain wild game study?

In the Fall of 2003, Dow conducted a wild game study of the Tittabawassee floodplain to answer residents’ questions about potential risks of consuming wild game from the river area that may be contaminated with elevated levels of dioxin.   On November 10, 2003, Dow's Susan Carrington said the animals will be collected by scientists within the next two weeks and test results will be available by early next year.     Summer is just a few weeks away, what holding up the report?  We are hearing some very interesting rumors:

bulletThe results are so bad the report will never be released
bulletDow needs time to manipulate and massage the data as they do with most of their "studies"

Come on Dow, stop the rumors and tell us what is going on, NOW!

bulletWork scope for the interim Response Activity of Evaluating Wild game taken from the Tittabawassee River floodplain
bulletMDEQ approves Dow Wild Game IRA scope with stipulations 10/22/03

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6/7/04  Residents seek meeting with Governor Granholm to counter Dow miss-information

Press Release

June 7, 2004

CONTACTS:

Michelle Hurd-Riddick 989-799-3313
Marcia Woodman        989-695-5693
Curt Dalton        201-5539 (pager)
Ward Hodge        989-495-9203

River residents demand their own meeting with the Governor

Residents living in the most contaminated regions of mid-Michigan called on the Governor to meet with them in response to recent attempts by some state representatives to weaken the state's dioxin standard.

"We are outraged by these attempts to weaken our cleanup laws, and to dismantle the Agency that is supposed to protect our health. We actually have to live amid the dioxin contamination, and wear masks when we mow our lawn. Our children are threatened by playing in our backyards. We demand that the state officials protect our health, as they are sworn to," said Marcia Woodman, nurse and mother of three.

This past weekend, Republican representatives from the Midland area met with Governor Granholm to press their case to weaken state cleanup standards, thus potentially exposing all Michigan residents to higher levels of dioxin. River residents, represented by the Tittabawassee River Watch and the Lone Tree Council, and residents from area Townships and the City of Midland sent a letter to the Governor today asking for equal time to discuss the need for the state to uphold its cleanup standards in the face of pressure from Dow Chemical and some legislators to put citizens at risk.

The groups highlighted the overwhelming number of scientific studies that demonstrate that dioxin is a serious health hazard. They also highlighted the misuse of science by Dow Chemical and elected representatives who receive major campaign contributions from Dow. At issue is a state cleanup standard that is set in order to prevent health impacts. Elected representatives from the Midland region are suggesting that harm must be demonstrated before cleanup should take place. They are further arguing that cleanup standards should be set at a level where health effects might be seen.

"Setting cleanup standards at a level where there may be harm defies all of the principles of public health protection that are the basis of our environmental and public health laws. This is a terrible precedent and should not stand," said Michelle Hurd-Riddick of the Lone Tree Council. "The whole point of our environmental laws is to PROTECT public health."

"We have a vision of our community where children can play safely, and residents can grow food in their garden, and we don't have to worry about mowing our lawn or swimming in the river. Our vision is one where our community prospers and the future continues to be bright. To realize this vision, we need to get this issue behind us, and finally clean up this mess," said Betty Damore of James Township.

"Dow is flexing its political muscle and throwing money around so they don't have to clean up their mess. If we make environmental laws based on the wishes of big polluters, no community and no cleanup efforts are safe," said Curt Dalton, a former recreational user of the Tittabawassee River.

Last week, the Michigan House of Representatives voted to cut the DEQ's budget, eliminate an entire program, and cut the Director's salary in retaliation for the DEQ doing their job and defending the laws of the state.

"This is a desperate strategy and a shameful one. This is corrupt politics at its worst,," said Ward Hodge, a Midland resident. "These lawmakers are big recipients of political contributions from Dow and the chemical industry. They are working for Dow instead of the citizens of the State of Michigan. If the legislature doesn't stand up to these tactics, Michigan will become the new capital of hazardous wastes. That could be the biggest threat to the economic health of the state yet."

 -30-

Click here to view the   letter sent to Governer Granholm

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6/6/04  Why the ATSDR 1000 ppt dioxin "standard" is NOT appropriate for RDCC

            RDCC: Residential DIrect Contact Criteria

  1. The ATSDR 1,000 ppt was calculated based on a 1984 assessment by the Centers for Disease Control that is NOT consistent with the current assessment of dioxin’s cancer hazard
  2. The 1,000 ppt level was NOT derived as a "safe" level. It was thought to be a level that could be associated with health effects. Cleanup levels are traditionally set at levels BELOW those thought to cause health effects. Therefore, it is not accurate to suggest that levels below 1,000 ppt pose no risk.
  3. Referring to the ATSDR 1,000 ppt level as a cleanup level is not accurate. The 1,000 ppt level is NOT used by ATSDR for that purpose.
  4. The 1,000 ppt level was NOT developed to serve as a standard for cleanup for residential areas
  5. The 1,000 ppt level does NOT represent a line between safe and unsafe conditions, although it has been used in that way
  6. The EPA has been reviewing dioxin’s toxicity for more than 10 years. Their review has been repeatedly peer-reviewed, but political wrangling and the power of the chemical industry have prevented its release. The draft document concludes that dioxin is more toxic than previously thought 
  7. If the EPA reassessment were released, the state’s cleanup standard would be more stringent, not weaker, based on a new interpretation of studies on dioxin’s toxicity. The state standard would be between 12 and 53 ppt.
  8. The 1,000 ppt level does NOT consider non-cancer health effects that may occur when people are exposed to dioxin at even lower levels than those associated with cancer. The most sensitive endpoint for dioxin’s toxicity is thought to be neurobehavioral impacts.
  9. If the state were to use the 1,000 ppt standard, the issue of dioxin’s toxicity will continue to plague the state. When the Dioxin Reassessment is finalized, the EPA will again look at sites and reassess previous actions to determine if they are protective. So a cleanup to 1,000 ppt today will not guarantee that the issue will go away. It could just keep coming up unless contamination is cleaned up to a reasonable and legitimate standard.
  10. Cleanup levels in different states and regions in the US:

Region III EPA

(Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia), 4.3 ppt TCDD

Region IX EPA

(Arizona, California, Nevada, Hawaii), 3.9 ppt

Oregon, 3.9 ppt

Massachusetts, 4.0 ppt

North Carolina, 4.1 ppt

Georgia, 4.8 ppt

Washington, 8.7 ppt

Florida, 7.0 ppt

Iowa, 14 ppt

Arizona, 38 ppt

Michigan, 90 ppt

Pennsylvania, 120 ppt

Minnesota, 200 ppt

Source: The Ecology Center, www.ecocenter.org 6/6/04

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6/4/04  New blogspot in town: www.theriverspeaks.blogspot.com

From the author:   "This blog concerns the mighty Tittabawassee River that flows through several counties in South East Michigan and the pollution and politics that supplant themselves for the health concerns that should be taking the center stage."   www.theriverspeaks.blogspot.com

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6/4/04  Dow & Michigan  Republicans ATTEMPTING TO ELIMINATE  the MDEQ

House Appropriations Sub-Committee – Votes to Slash DEQ Budget & Eliminate Entire Programs

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Natural Resources and Environment voted this morning to SLASH the DEQ budget in many ways, including eliminating the Hazardous Waste Division entirely. This is a primarily vindictive, ostrich-like response to the DEQ's efforts to protect the citizens of Michigan who live along the Tittabawassee River from dioxin contamination – caused by Dow Chemical. The legislators who introduced and support this measure seem to be far more concerned about protecting Dow than they are about protecting the people of Michigan.

The House Subcommittee on Appropriations has recommended to:

bulletEliminate the entire Hazardous Waste Program, which totals about $6 million. They want to send the Hazardous Waste clean-up program back to the feds. Eliminating the Hazardous Waste program from the DEQ would end up costing businesses MORE money - since they’d have to apply to the EPA office in Chicago to obtain permits. In addition, the majority of the money used to pay for this program comes from a Federal grant – money the State of Michigan would not save, but would have to give back to the Feds should the DEQ’s hazardous waste program shut down.
bulletCut directors salary 15%
bulletCut general fund appropriations to the DEQ an additional 15% across the board
bulletImplement a workforce reduction plan by an additional 8% = 120 positions

Who to Contact:

Please call or email your House Representative as soon as possible and tell them to restore full funding to the DEQ. The DEQ is our state agency whose job it is to protect Michigan citizens and environment. The proposed cuts make NO sense and are a transparent attempt to get Dow Chemical off the hook for the pollution they’ve caused in Michigan.

Here is a link to the House of Representative’s web site so you can easily find your Rep’s contact info:

house.mi.gov - Find a Representative

Timeframe:

The House appropriation subcommittee has made the recommendation to the full committee this morning (Thursday). The full committee is meeting this afternoon. If the full committee concurs with this ridiculous proposal, it could reach the House floor by next week. We MUST make contact with as many House Reps as possible within the next few days! Keep in mind that YOU CAN call over the weekend and in the evening – simply leave your message on the legislator’s voice mail.

Thank you

Gayle Miller
Conservation Program Coordinator
Sierra Club-Mackinac Chapter
109 E. Grand River Ave.
Lansing, MI 48906
(517) 484-2372 - ph
(517) 484-3108 - fax

Following is additional information posted to EnviroMich, a state-wide listserv on environmental issues in Michigan:

Recently, Senator Stamas and Representative Moolenaar announced plans to introduce legislation to weaken the state's residential dioxin cleanup standard to 1,000 ppt.  They are basing that number on outdated science that doesn't reflect our current understanding of dioxin's toxicity.   This is an outrageous attempt to relieve Dow of liability for their dioxin contamination in mid-Michigan, and it threatens the health of all Michigan residents and the health of the Great Lakes in the bargain.

 And today, the friends of the chemical industry are attempting to behead the DEQ by slashing the DEQ's budget.  This latest gambit is a threat to all of our efforts to protect public health and the great resources of our state.  This latest effort is in retaliation for the DEQ DOING THEIR JOB AND FOLLOWING THE LAW OF THE STATE.   If chemical corporations can cut the DEQ budget simply because they are abiding by the environmental laws in the state, all of our environmental programs are at risk.   WE URGE ALL MICHIGAN CITIZENS TO TAKE ACTION  - CALL YOUR  STATE REPRESENTATIVE AND TELL THEM TO SUPPORT THE DEQ IN FOLLOWING THE LAW OF THE STATE!!!!!

Tell them that political maneuvering on behalf of a single large company is not acceptable.  The priority in our state must be science-based public health protections.

 Not surprisingly, these legislators are big recipients of campaign contributions from the chemical industry.  A contaminated Great Lakes basin and weak environmental laws are not the way to revive Michigan's economy or attract new businesses.  Just the opposite in fact.

Tony Stamas - Republican State Senator
    Accepted $29,727 political campaign funds 1998-2002 from Chemical Industry

John Moolenaar - Republican Michigan State House Representative, District 98
    Accepted $4,732 political campaign funds 2002 from Chemical Industry
    Former Dow Chemist

Dow donated $215,000 in 2002 to Republican State Election Committee

Chemical industry political contributions in Michigan election campaigns 1996-2002
    Republicans:  $ 479,473
    Democrats :   $  53,745
    Specifically from Dow Chemical and it's employees: $216,469

And supporters of this effort include:

 David Camp - Republican US House Representative for Michigan
    Owns at least $500,000 Dow Chemical stock, Married to former Dow attorney

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5/31/04 EPA dioxin expert, Dr. Linda Birnbaum, to visit area

The MDEQ announced at the last CAP meeting they are arranging a visit by Dr. Linda Birnbaum.   Dr. Birnbaum is a world renowned expert on dioxin and it's effects on humans and the environment.  Tentative dates are July 26 and July 27, meeting time and place to be announced.  Click here to listen to an audio presentation by Dr. Birnbaum "Dioxin, are we at risk?"  Additional information on Dr. Birnbaum can be found on our EPA page which includes a slide presentation "Dioxin Risk Characteristics".

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5/30/04  Michigan and the worlds Dioxin standards under attack by Midland Republicans

On May 27, 2004, a group of Michigan Republican Lawmakers from Midland (Stamas & Moolenaar) filed  2 bills in the Michigan Legislature to raise the States dioxin Residential Direct Contact Criteria (RDCC) to over 11 times the current standard, from 90 ppt to 1000 ppt.  In our opinion, this is a attempt to relieve Dow Chemical of it's clean up responsibilities under it's current operating license.   These individuals have shown their true colors: their allegiance to Dow Chemical company overrides their concern for public safety in City of Midland,  Tittabawassee River flood plain, the State of Michigan, and the United States of America.  If passed, these bills may set a precedent that could affect dioxin standards across the entire United States.  Now is the time for concerned citizens from around the country to get involved in this debacle unless you want Dow Chemical interfering in your backyard.   Click here to visit our new web page: Dioxin Politics for a better understanding of what is really going on here. 

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5/28/04  What really happened at the Midland Public Meeting on Dioxin

The meetings turn out was phenomenal, no one is arguing with that.  Obviously Midland residents have a great interest in the matter and came to the meeting seeking facts.  In this regard, the City of Midland failed miserably and intentionally obstructed  MDEQ's mission to explain the science behind it's regulations.  In place of science, the City "stacked the deck" and spewed Dow propaganda. The MDEQ made a number of offers to come back to Midland at anytime do an presentation of substance to the residents.  My guess you will not see the City of Midland advertising such a meeting, if they ever allow it to take place.  Below are more observations of those who attended the meeting:

CITY OF MIDLAND PUBLIC MEETING ON MAY 26th Half truths, omissions, misinformation, command and control of questions and meeting agenda delivered the message that Dow and the City of Midland wanted to create. Dow is right and everyone else is wrong and the MDEQ is a monster. Granted, the City of Midland hosted this meeting but I had hoped some people or officials would find the constrained, restrictive and manipulated format objectionable. Hard to believe this is a the same company and city who call for openness and transparency. This was a very tightly controlled meeting Presenters: Steve Chester DEQ Sue Carrington Dow Chemical Ron Waybrant City of Midland Toxicology Consultant Mike Krecek Midland Co. Health Department Tom Phillips City of Midland Environmental & Regulatory Legal

All questions were submitted in advance pre-printed for the audience and given in advance to panelists

Each participant did a 15 minute presentation focused on answering the pre-submitted questions from Midland residents.

Questions taken on paper from the audience during the break were selected by Mayor Black with 70% directed to Director Chester who was not permitted to call on his science staff in the audience or the EPA representative who oversees Dow's license requirements.

No open microphones

"Reserved seating" for DEQ staffers and other guests of the panel members

Panelist were the "only spokesperson" for their respective organization-no one else was allowed to answer questions

This wasn't really a public meeting or an open meeting. It is a highly controlled and successful effort by Dow and the City of Midland to garner a specific outcome. The alleged intent of the meeting was to " allow Midland residents the opportunity to learn more about the effects of dioxin on their health and property in light of the MDEQ's proposed plan to test soils in the Midland area"this in a letter to the panelists dated May 20, 2004, from Karl Tomion, City Manager. Sitting within feet of Steve Chester were the geologists, toxicologists, and agency people (including EPA) responsible for the science and the license. Yet they were not permitted to answer questions, correct misinformation or expound in greater detail. The letter from the City Manager stated, "You are the only spokesperson for your organization." The vast majority of the audience were wearing buttons that said We Support Sound Science but no one objected to the exclusion of the science people in the agencies. The only science people permitted to speak were from Dow and the City of Midland. The City of Midland and Dow have a long and well documented history of fending off regulatory agency efforts to ascertain an accurate assessment of the extent of dioxin contamination in Midland. Indeed, transparency is not one of Midland's strong suits and unfortunately for the vast majority of Midland residents it's OK

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5/28/04  Dow spinning to new heights, "Sound Scientist" need to do some research.

The following is an excerpt from the latest Lone Tree/TRW news update, click here for all the details

DOW SPINNING TO NEW HEIGHTS The following excerpt was taken from Dow's full page ad in the Saginaw, Bay City and Midland Newspapers: "According to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), there is no known evidence of any health effects or illnesses that may have occurred in people as a result of
exposure to dioxins in the Tittabawassee River floodplain. In April 1985, the EPA and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control concluded that since Midland community soils were below the federal standard of 1,000 ppt, they did not pose a health risk."

What Dow isn't telling you:

1. In the EPA report on Midland Soils by Milton Clark, Ph.D. (Oct. 11, 1985 page 17 paragraph 6) Dr. Clark stated the 1,000ppt should be abandoned because it was not protective of public health.

2. The ATSDR 1,000ppt is old science and does not incorporate recent studies and findings from the EPA dioxin reassessment.

3. The use of the 1,000ppt best accommodates, is more convenient and best supports the City of Midland's historical objection to soil testing. For Midland the picture is less grim at 1,000ppt. The ATSDR number does not matter.......... does not protect public health.......... is not relevant to Dow's legal obligations under their RCRA license

4. In April 1998, US EPA issued a directive (OSWER 9200.4-26) permitting more stringent state cleanup standards at RCRA sites. Dow's license is a RCRA license, replete with legal requirements for testing and remediation of Dow's offsite release of dioxin and other contaminants.

5. Since Dow and the City of Midland defer to ATSDR for their science perhaps the following information will be useful. In an article, "Public Health Assessment for Dioxins Exposure from soil," Chemosphere, 1995, the ATSDR authors ( H. Pohl et al) note, "recent studies suggest that noncancer end points may be more sensitive indicators of dioxin exposure," and derived a value of 40ppt for chronic exposure of children, which they called an environmental media evaluation guide or EMEG.

6. Let's look at some other states and regional dioxin standards. Arizona 38 ppt, Florida 70ppt, Massachusetts 40ppt, Oregon 39ppt, Region 9 EPA 39 ppt , Region 3 EPA 43 ppt

7. The ATSDR Health Consultation for the City of Midland states, " It is not known whether people exposed to low levels of dioxins will experience the same health effects seen in animal studies. However, based on the available information, dioxins are believed to have the potential to cause a wide range of adverse effects in humans, including cancer.

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5/25/04  Survey reveals residents do NOT want Dow or U of M Dioxin Exposure Investigations

In February 2004, the MDCH conducted 2  surveys:

bulletAssessment of Tittabawassee River Flood Plain Residence's opinions Regarding a Dioxin Exposure Investigation
bulletAssessment of Midland Residence's opinions Regarding a Dioxin Exposure Investigation

79% of Tittabawassee flood plain residents and 67% of Midland residents selected government agencies to conduct exposure investigations.  Dr. Linda Dykema of the MDCH revealed the results of the assessments  at the MDEQ CAP meeting on 5/27/04.   The "unofficial" table below, created by TRW, summarizes residents responses.  Only those answering YES to question 1 were allowed to provide answers on questions 2-5.  The response rates shown below may not equal 100% because not all respondents provided answers to all questions.The full text of the Assessments will published on TRW when time permits.   Contact Kory Groetsch or Linda Dykema at 1-800-648-6942 for more details.

Survey Question Answer Choices

TR
%

Midland
%

1. Should an investigation be conducted to compare dioxin levels in the blood of people who live in the flood plain of the TR or Midland to another community where dioxin levels in soil are not present? Yes

No

84.4

8.6

64

33

2. Who do you think should conduct the investigation? State of Michigan (DCH & DEQ)
ATSDR & CDC
Academic university
Dow Chemical
Other
38.6
39.5
10.5
5.7
5.3
29
38
18
6
5
3. Who do your think should   pay for the investigation? Dow Chemical
State of Michigan
ATSDR & CDC
Other
61.5
14.9
14.4
8.2
48
18
24
4
4. Participants in the investigation will be asked to give an 80-milliliter (about 3 ounces) sample of their blood.  Would you be willing to give a blood sample? Yes
No
No Response
87.3
8.9
3.8
90
8
1
5. Would you be willing to let the MDEQ and the MDCH sample the soil in your yard and/or the dust in your home to find out if it contains elevated levels of dioxin? Yes
No
No Response
95.5
4.5
0
96
1
3
6 How long have you lived at your current residence? Less than 1 year
1 to 5 years
6 to 10 years
11 to 20 years
21 to 30 years
More than 30 years
No response
0.5
12.9
20.4
22.0
18.8
25.2
0.5
1
22
15
17
17
23
3
7. Are you Male or female? Male
Female
54.1
45.2
0.5
47
50
3
8. What is your age? Less than 20 years old
21 to 35 years old
36-50 years old
51 to 70 years old
Greater than 71 years old
No Response
0.5
7.0
32.3
43.5
16.1
0.5
4
22
30
30
11
2
9. Do you have children under 12 years old living at home? Yes 19.4 28
10. Do you our your spouse work for Dow Chemical Company? Currently working or retired from Dow 1.0 11
11. Are you or a family member a plaintiff in the lawsuit against Dow? Yes 14.5

None reported

Survey parameters TR Midland
Surveys mailed (randomly selected) 500

500

Date mailed 2/9/04 2/9/04
Completed surveys returned TR 37.2%, Midland 22.6% 186 114
Returned undeliverable by USP TR  5.6%, Midland 13.6% 28 68
Surveys not returned TR 57.2%, Midland 63.6% 286 318

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5/25/04  City of Midland accepts MDEQ request to test Midland soils for dioxin

Breaking story  from the Saginaw News  

Excerpts from article Midland facing tests of soil by Jeremiah Stettler

bulletDespite previous opposition to the sampling, Manager Karl Tomion said the city will not object to the state requirement.
bullet"In the past, the city had resisted moving ahead with additional soil testing because the DEQ hadn't set criteria by which soil result would be evaluated," Tomion said. "We now know what the criteria is and we are not opposing testing."
bulletThe state Department of Environmental Quality stands behind the 90 parts per trillion standard as scientifically sound.
bulletIn a letter to Midland attorneys, DEQ Deputy Director Jim Sygo said there is no "uncertainty" as to the appropriate clean-up standard for dioxin. Despite claims to the contrary, he said updated information used in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's dioxin reassessment likely would tighten the standard further.
bullet"Our charge is the protection of human health," she said. "Dow created this problem. They have the responsibility under the law to address this problem and to address it properly." ( DEQ spokeswoman Patricia Spitzley)
bulletThe clean-up plan, stipulated under Dow's operating permit, would require soil sampling in four areas northeast of its Michigan Operations, where regulators suspect that dioxin was deposited via air emissions. In previous samples taken near the Corning Lane neighborhood, the state found dioxin concentrations between 73 and 923 parts per trillion.

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5/23/04  Sound Science: Truth or Consequences?

Definition:
... "junk science" is the term that corporate defenders apply to any
research, no matter how rigourous, that justifies regulations to protect
the environment and public health. The opposing term, "sound science," is
used in reference to any research, no matter how flawed, that can be used
to challenge, defeat, or reverse environmental and public health
protection. (p. 222-223, Trust Us, We're Experts).

Check our our new web page Junk Science ??? which provides links to extensive research documenting  the shadowy world of "sound science" proponents. 

The City of Midland community should do a little homework before attending Mayor Black's meeting next Wednesday, understanding the definition of "Sound Science"  would be a good place to start.

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5/22/04  MDEQ CAP meeting summary and agenda available

bullet03/10/04 draft meeting summary
bullet05/26/04 draft agenda
bulletFor more about the MDEQ CAP, visit our CAP page


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5/21/04 TRW May meeting cancelled

The next TRW meeting will be held June 28th, 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm at the Thomas Township Library.  The May 2004 meeting is cancelled as the Thomas Township Library did not have any rooms available.

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5/19/04 Other agencies Dioxin residential cleanup levels

Dioxin residential soil cleanup criteria vary around the country, the MDEQ does not seem to be out of line with  their 90 ppt level .  Below are a  few examples provided by the EPA. TRW has not had time to verify all of the levels listed, if you know of other agency levels and/or information that confirms or disputes the data below, please let us know by sending an email to info@trwnews.net and we will update the table below.

Agency Dioxin Residential Cleanup Levels in ppt TEQ
Michigan DEQ   90 
U.S. EPA Region 9 Preliminary Remediation
Note: corrected 5/26/04 to 3.9, previous reported as 39
  3.9
U.S. EPA Region 3 Risk Based Concentrations    4.3
U.S. EPA Region 6 Human Health Medium-Specific Screening Levels               3.9
Arizona DEQ                                             38
Florida Soil Cleanup Target levels                       7 
Iowa Land Recycling Program                             14
Massachusetts Contingency Plan Upper Concentration
     Note: see additional value for S1 soils below   
200 
Minnesota Soil Reference Value 200 
New York Soil Cleanup Objectives 600 
Pennsylvania  Medium Specific Concentrations 120 
West Virginia Voluntary Remediation Program    4.1

Source: Gregory A. Rudloff, P.G.
Corrective Action Section
Waste Management Branch
Waste, Pesticides and Toxics Division
Region 5, U.S. EPA
(312) 886-0455
rudloff.gregory@epa.gov

Additional Information discovered by TRW

Massachusetts Contingency Plan Soil S1 Levels  40 ppt

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5/12/04 Dow incinerators source of  Midland's dioxin contamination?

Below is an excerpt from the web site of a former Dow Chemical Engineer investigating the Midland Dow plants incinerator practices.   This is evidently a work in progress, however it brings up a few interesting observations.

"The high level of dioxins and furans that are still being found in Midland Area soils even today are the result of high levels of these toxic compounds that were emitted by Dow's chemical waste incinerators. 

The history and evolution of Dow's incinerators will be presented along with information that Dow acknowledged that the incinerators were "sources of local air pollution" when in operation.   

Information will also be presented that the incinerators were overloaded and, in one case, maintained at temperatures below the auto-ignition point of paper... conditions that were favorable for the formation of dioxins and furans.

Dow articles have been found that confirms that, at least, one of Dow's on-site powerhouses also burned chemical waste tars.   The articles also suggests that, in certain years, the powerhouses may have incinerated up to 25% of the waste tars that were produced by the Midland manufacturing facilities,

The operation of one of Dow's oldest powerhouses, the NT Powerhouse, will be discussed as well as the possibility that chemical wastes may have been burnt in this powerhouse in the wintertime when fewer Midland residents would be exposed to toxic emissions."   David Linhardt www.dioxinspin.com

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5/09/04 MDEQ will not back down on city of Midland dioxin contamination

"The CIty Midland’s struggle to overcome its checkered environmental history is about to intensify. After a decades-long tug-of-war over contamination level standards, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality is making it clear: It believes dioxin is a problem in Midland and The Dow Chemical Co. must do something about it."  The city ran a full page ad in the Midland Daily News announcing a public meeting for Midalnd residents scheduled for May 26 to discuss the issue.  Up to 8,800 homes and 21,300 residents could be affected by the DEQ regulations.  The ad also provides an explaination of the situation from the city's perspective as well as a map of the affected area.  Midland is also posting dioxin related information on it's web site.

bulletMidland Daily News Story 05/09/04
bulletMDEQ letter to City of Midland Manager stating why MDEQ 90 ppt RDCC is appropriate cleanup standard and ATSDR 1000 ppt is not.
bulletWhere did the ATSDR 1000 ppt number come from?
bulletCity of Midland ad in Midland Daily News (large pdf file)
bulletCIty of Midland website dioxin page.

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5/08/04 MDEQ under attack yet continues to do the right thing: Protect the public

Michigan's DEQ is under attack for protecting the public from corporate polluters.    According to a Detroit News article [more], "Some Republican state representatives want to limit Michigan’s environmental regulatory agency, which they describe as overly bureaucratic, power hungry and filled with "rogue" field agents who intimidate property owners" ...  Democratic Rep. Chris Kolb of Ann Arbor said the House Republicans who want to reform the DEQ are emphasizing property rights over the public’s right to a safe environment. "They believe private interest overrides the public, but the public is all of us ... and the air and water we all use," Kolb said. "They’re bringing out the heavy artillery when a letter to the director would work."

In TRW's opinion, these legislatures want to return to the old Engler days when the DEQ's "client" was big business/private interest groups and public health concerns enemy number 1.   

Yet despite this adversity, the MDEQ continues to do what is right and urges Saginaw County to pull the plug on large events scheduled for Imerman Park, especially if the activity involves people sitting or laying on the ground, young children, or sports activities which disturb the soil.  Dioxin levels as high as 1,400 TEQ have been measured at the surface in the areas where these activities would occur.  In addition, a flood event in the spring of 2004 flushed contaminated river sediment all over the park making contact with the soil almost unavoidable [click here for 40 photo's].

"Rouge agents"?  In TRW's experience over the last 2 years, MDEQ and MDCH field staff have proven themselves time and time again to be conscientious, dedicated, and compassionate professionals.  Some have taken great personal risk's to keep the public informed.   In our opinion, the attack on the MDEQ is being orchestrated by big corporate polluters such as Dow Chemical.  The  local state representatives that accuse environmentalist of having a "political" agenda are   probably the same individuals behind the political attack on the MDEQ.  Ask your State & Federal  representatives if they have ever worked for Dow Chemical or it's subsidiaries in any capacity, own significant shares of Dow stock, accepted Dow political campaign fund contributions, or married into the Dow family tree.  Then ask them to state their position on the current movement to restrict MDEQ's budget and authority.  You will not be surprised by their answers, assuming they would even respond.  Click on these links for Representative contact information and voting records.

We are at risk of losing one of the best DEQ departments in the country.  Rumor has it another Dow campaign is underway at the Federal level where attempts are being made to influence the EPA and it's relationship with the MDEQ, stay tuned... 

The DEQ & DCH needs your support, please write or email them with a few comments supporting their  public health initiatives. You might also want to copy the EPA's Adminstrator, Mike Leavitt, click here for contact info.

Michigan Department of Environmental Quality         Michigan Department of Community Health

Steven Chester, Director                                         Janet Olszewski, Director
525 West Allegan Street                                         Sixth Floor, Lewis Cass Building
P.O. Box 30473                                                     320 South Walnut Street
Lansing, MI 48909-7973                                          Lansing, Michigan 48913

(517) 373-7917                                                       (517)-373-3740

mailto:deq-officeofcommunication@michigan.gov     mailto:mccullochs@michigan.gov

 

Gary Henry

TRW

 

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5/05/04 Peer-reviewed document indicates Endometriosis linked to dioxin

Endometriosis is a disease in which tissue similar to the lining of the uterus, the endometrium, implants and grows outside of the uterus, often in the abdominal cavity, frequently causing pain, infertility, pain with sex, and bowel or bladder problems. Endometriosis requires involvement of hormones and immune system malfunction in order to develop, and is associated with increased risk of other immune system disorders and certain cancers. Although genetic factors may contribute to the risk of endometriosis in some women, human and animal studies indicate a potentially important role for environmental factors as well, including exposure to dioxins, furans, PCBs, chemicals that mimic estrogen, and radiation. It is important to consider that combinations of chemical and radiation exposures may add up to increase the risk more than would be expected from any one alone.
Ted Schettler, MD, Science Director and Chair, Science Work Group, CHE
Science and Environmental Health Network

bulletClick here to review entire report
bulletClick here to review references cited in report

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4/27/04 Tittabawassee/Midland documentary about Dow's dioxin contamination available

The 90 minute documentary about Dow's contamination of the Tittabawassee River and Midland is now available for purchase on DVD. The cost is $10 per DVD + tax, shipping, and handling. Please contact the author, Steve Meador, for your purchase. stephenmeador@earthlink.netClick here for a brief description and author's bio.

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4/23/04 MDEQ CAP meeting postponed, need more time to review Dow SOW

At the  last meeting on March 10, it was expected that the SOW review and approval would be completed in April prior to the DEQ CAP meeting scheduled to be held on May 5.  Although DEQ staff have made a great deal of progress on the SOW review, they will not be able to complete the review and the SOW modifications for approval in time to meet with Dow prior to the May 5 DEQ CAP meeting and finalize the approval documents to share with the CAP members.  New dates suggested are May 25 or May 26, will post when MDEQ finalizes the date and time.

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4/21/04 Lone Tree Council /   TRW Dioxin update

Lone Tree Council and TRW

Dioxin Update # 5  April 2004

Next meeting is April 26th at 6:30 pm at the Thomas Twp Library

Dow Chemical: Risk for Investors

NEW YORK, April 21------ Innovest Strategic Value Advisors
Inc., the global leader in analyzing "non-traditional" drivers of
investment risk and out-performance and higher corporate social
responsibility standards announces the release of "Dow Chemical: Risks
for Investors".  To view the entire report, click here (103 page pdf)

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4/20/04 Garabrant's not
listening

Opinion:

Dr. Garabrant may be to close to the forest to see the trees.  Recent correspondence between the MDCH/ATSDR and Dr. Garabrant  reveals a fundamental flaw in his  study that has nothing to do with the technical details:  Lack of trust.  

The MDCH and ATSDR deal with chemical companies every day and are quite familiar with the method and tactics used to create studies which complicate and confuse the issue at hand [More].  The comments by the MDCH and ATSDR on the proposed study are intended to put public trust back into the study and it's outcome.   Dr. Garabrant's arrogant response to oversight issues seems to be  promoting the agenda of a silent partner (Dow?).  Why does he care?  Is not public health the issue here?  Garabrant's recent response only confirms what the public suspects, the deck will be stacked in favor of industry and the outcome predetermined.   Garabrants observations that the MPHI has ties to the MDCH is correct. And it is being done for a good reason:  public trust. 

My recommendation to Dr. Garabrant: accept the ATSDR and MDCH recommendations pertaining the the MPHI, SAB, and CAP.  Once this is done, all the issues with the technical details can be worked out in an environment favoring the protection of the public rather than Dow profits.  Anything else is unacceptable.     Gary Henry TRW

ATSDR/MDCH comments on Garabrant study   Garabrant response to ATSDR/MDCH comments

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04/19/04  EPA to demonstrate new dioxin detection technology at Greepoint Nature Center

Sue Kaelber-Matlock, Senior Geologist with the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Remediation and Redevelopment Division, Saginaw Bay District Office, asked me to send the attached announcement/newsletter regarding the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Superfund Innovative Technology Evaluation (SITE) Monitoring and Measurement Technology Verification Program to the DEQ CAP for your information.  Details on the April 28 Visitors Day for the SITE Demonstration on Technologies for Detecting Dioxin in Soil and Sediment Samples at the Green Point Environmental Learning Center in Saginaw are included in the attachment.

Cheryl Howe
Senior Environmental Engineer
Hazardous Waste Management Unit
Hazardous Waste and Radiological Protection Section
517-373-9881/517-373-4797 Fax

Click here to view EPA announcement
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04/16/04  Tittabawassee dioxin documentary to be shown at Delta College Earth Day

The Long Shadow On DVD  

Part of Delta College Earth Day Activites

Introduction by Terry Miller, Lone Tree Council

 

THURSDAY APRIL 22 9AM DELTA COLLEGE 

 LECTURE THEATRE C121

The Long Shadow details the dioxin controversy in the Tittabawassee River and the City of Midland starting in  2002, from public notification by agency whistleblowers in January to the failed bailout in December.  The story highlights the plight of three floodplain families concerned about their health, their property values, and how Dow Chemical and the government  acted against them.  The story is told through contemporary videography, historical photos, and interviews with floodplain residents, environmental advocates, key government officials, and state lawmakers.   The Long Shadow exemplifies the need for citizens to be fully engaged in the democratic process, and the danger in assuming that government officials are always acting in the best interest of the public they are charged to serve and protect. 

 

Stephen Meador created the Long Shadow for his Master's thesis at MSU.  Stephen Meador is a freelance journalist working in print, radio, and film.   His stories focus on history, science, and the environment.  Before becoming a journalist, Steve was a Lieutenant in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Commissioned Officer Corps.  He has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and a master’s degree in environmental engineering, and studied journalism for two years as a graduate student at Michigan State University.  Steve lives in Wilmington, North Carolina with his soul mate Kate and their two dogs.

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04/15/04  Midland County Health Department Mortality "studies" flawed?

Source: David Linhardt, former Dow Chemical Engineer website: www.dioxinspin.com

"The County Health Department should not have conducted a review of the health of county residents as it should have conducted a review of the health of exposed residents living within the five mile radius. Dilution with high numbers of non-exposed residents invalidates the study as to whether dioxin exposure has impacted the health of the residents"   This quote and the table below are an excerpt from a document published by Mr. Linhardt, visit his web site or click here to view the entire document (pdf).

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04/11/04  MDEQ Director  tells City of Midland Manager 90 ppt State Health standared is appropriate

The full text of a letter sent by Steven Chester, Director of the MDEQ, to Karl Tomion, Midland City Manager is now avaialble on line.  Click here

"Even without further data, however, state officials maintain that the health standard of 90 parts per trillion is appropriate protecting the health of Tittabawassee residents.   Steven E. Chester, director of the Department of Environmental Quality, wrote in a letter The Saginaw News obtained that dioxin levels along the Tittabawassee are high enough to cause concern. The federal standard of 1,000 parts per trillion, he wrote, was never intended to represent a concentration in soil that is acceptable for long-term, residential exposure without any further type of evaluation.   Even if dioxin levels fall below the federal standard, Chester wrote the cleanup efforts required of Dow are based on sound science and are needed to protect human health." Source: Dioxin discrepancies, Saginaw News 4/4/04

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04/07/04  New Website on-line: DioxinSpin - Challenging the Spin.

David Linhardt, A former Dow Chemical Engineer with  28 years of tenure, has created a new web site to assist in countering the Dow dioxin misinformation machine.  This is a new site, some of which is still under construction.  However, a lot of useful information is already present.  Finally we get a perspective from someone who has been on the inside and has the credentials to interpret the spin and transllate it into meaningful information for our area.  He is now in the process of collecting data on past Dow manufacturing and waste disposal practices. If you or anyone you know have such information,  you can contact him through his web  site: www.dioxinspin.com"Even the smallest amount of information may be valuable in helping to develop a full understanding of past waste practices."

"DioxinSpin" is the art or practice of attempting to manipulate the way that the various aspects
of dioxin contamination and the health risks resulting from dioxin exposure are interpreted by others.

Even though high levels of dioxins in both the community and in the river have been known for
more than twenty years, very little has been accomplished, in those twenty years, except to
sample a few more locations.

With each round of sampling, even higher levels of dioxin contamination are found.  Even though
increasing levels of dioxin have been found, there has been very little remediation to reduce
exposure levels in the community.

The more than twenty years of a surprising lack of  progress can be attributed to primarily
one factor...  DioxinSpin... by both The Dow Chemical Company and various regulatory
and public health agencies."

To visit click here: www.dioxinspin.com


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04/04/04  MDEQ Director states 90ppt appropriate health standard for T.River residents.

"Even without further data, however, state officials maintain that the health standard of 90 parts per trillion is appropriate protecting the health of Tittabawassee residents.   Steven E. Chester, director of the Department of Environmental Quality, wrote in a letter The Saginaw News obtained that dioxin levels along the Tittabawassee are high enough to cause concern. The federal standard of 1,000 parts per trillion, he wrote, was never intended to represent a concentration in soil that is acceptable for long-term, residential exposure without any further type of evaluation.   Even if dioxin levels fall below the federal standard, Chester wrote the cleanup efforts required of Dow are based on sound science and are needed to protect human health." Source: Dioxin discrepancies, Saginaw News 4/4/04

bulletFor a history of the 1000 ppt federal standard, click here.  It's based on politics & chemical industry lobbyist, not science.
bulletOn Sunday 4/4/04, , the  Saginaw News released a number of articles recapping the dioxin contamination in our area:
bulletDioxin discrepancies 
bulletWhere some see villain, others see bad fiction
bulletDioxin acts like a hormone

Visit our Newspaper/Media page for 100's of related articles dating back to January 2002.  Click here


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04/03/04  Ecology Center/Lone Tree Council respond to flawed U of M study

In a letter to Dr. David Garabrant, the Ecology Center, Michigan Environmental Council and Lone Tree Council respond to the process and content of the proposed Dow-funded University of Michigan Dioxin Exposure Study (UMDES).  These comments are in response to a powerpoint presentation of the study (details of study protocol are not available to the public), a letter dated March 22, 2004 and a phone conference held on March 23, 2004 when input on the study was discussed.  "We remain concerned about transparency, timing, intent, and oversight of this endeavor"   Topics of concern:

bulletIndependent Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP)
bulletTiming of the Convening of the Scientific Advisory Panel
bulletRole and Representation on the Community Advisory Panel (CAP)
bulletCommunication Plan
bulletSecurity of data
bulletPurpose of the study
bulletRole of plaintiffs in the study
bulletSource of Quote
bulletRisk Communication
bulletIndoor dust sampling

Click here for the details of current letter.   Contact Tracey Easthope (1-734-761-3186) or Michelle Hurd Riddick with any questions (989-799-3313).  To review prior comments on study by the Ecology Center, click here.  To review prior comments on study by the MDEQ and ATSDR, click here.

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04/04/04  Imerman Park should remain closed indefinelty due to flood

Note: Back section of park is currently closed.  This walk was taken for documentation purposes as a public service because the Saginaw County Health Department thinks Poison Ivy is a greater health threat than dioxin.  Do NOT do this without proper footgear, stay on the road, and do not take young children or pets.   I am using the word sand or sandy for lack of a better term and assume the MDEQ will eventually test and classify the soil deposited by the flood.

In the back section of the park, significant amounts of sandy soil are layered over the grass.   In some cases, small dunes have formed.  Areas used for sport's and family gatherings such as the ball field and river pavilion have not been spared.   Unfortunately, people will be kicking this new contaminated soil around for years to come.  To interpret images below, consider that most of the open spaces are usually covered with grass.   Visible sand deposits are not normal for these areas.   The river banks can be sandy in places, however they seldom, if every have accumulations of sand as seen in these photo's.   Sand deposits in the wooded areas are also new.  In the areas toward the front of the park, farthest from the river, the sand deposits are less developed, but still present.  Can you imagine how Dow's proposed "capping" will solve this problem?  Are they willing to do it every year and/or after every flood?  How long will wood chips last on the trails?  The day these photo's were taken, people walked their dogs through all the areas shown, including the river bank trails, back activity fields, and woods.  Evidently the current warning signs are not enough.   Even worse, the soil on the dogs feet will be tracked all over the owners car and possibly their home.  In my opinion, the back section of the park should remain closed until further notice.    Gary Henry, TRW.

For 40+  photo's of the park damage, click here.

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bulletSee newpaper articles for information dating back to January 2002.  Click here
bulletFor additional website archived information back to October 2002, click here
 

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