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TRW Archives 2009 4th quarter 10/01/09 - 12/31/09
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12/31/09 EPA lowers dioxin residential remediation levels from 1000 to 72 ppt

EPA Seeks Public Input on Interim Guidance for Dioxins in Soil Cleanup Goals

Release date: 12/31/2009

Contact Information: Latisha Petteway, petteway.latisha@epa.gov, 202-564-3191, 202-564-4355

WASHINGTON
- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today it is seeking public comment on draft interim preliminary remediation goals (PRGs) for cleanup of dioxins in soil. Today’s announcement fulfills a commitment by EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson to announce interim cleanup goals by the end of 2009. Dioxins are contaminants that are very widespread in the environment that have been of concern to EPA and the public health community for decades. This action would strengthen EPA’s preliminary remediation goals at dioxin contaminated sites.

"While EPA works to complete the dioxin reassessment, this interim guidance will help us make better informed decisions on cleanup alternatives at contaminated sites," said Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. “We are following through on our commitment to use the best available science to help protect human health and the environment.”

Dioxins may cause a large number of different health effects, like cancer and reproductive effects. Dioxins are of concern because they are the result of combustion, and are absorbed from the air into the food chain where they can stay for many years.

Currently, EPA’s recommended dioxin PRGs are 1,000 part per trillion (ppt) for dioxin in residential soil and a level within the range of 5,000-20,000 ppt in commercial/industrial soil. The draft interim PRGs proposed today are 72 ppt for residential land uses and 950 ppt for commercial/industrial land uses, thus lowering the amount of dioxins levels for residential land uses and commercial/industrial land uses.

In addition, the draft interim PRGs differ from the current dioxin PRGs in that they include consideration of the potential absorption of dioxin through skin exposure. This will provide a tool for site evaluation that was not available when EPA last recommended PRGs for dioxins in soil in 1998.

In 1991, in light of significant new data on the potential human health effects of dioxins, EPA began the development of a comprehensive evaluation of exposure and human health effects of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), the most toxic of the group of chemicals known as dioxins, and other dioxin-like compounds. This draft dioxins assessment has been through several independent external peer reviews, the latest a 2004 review by a scientific panel convened by the National Academy of Sciences. When the EPA dioxin risk assessment is complete, it will be the agency's scientific foundation for future decision-making about dioxins in the environment.

EPA will be taking public comment on the draft interim PRGs for 50 days following publication in the Federal Register, and anticipates issuing the final interim PRGs in June 2010. Upon completion of the dioxins reassessment, currently expected by the end of 2010, EPA will consider the need to update the interim PRGs.

More information on the draft recommended interim PRGs and how to comment:
http://www.epa.gov/superfund/policy/remedy/sfremedy/remedies/dioxinsoil.html

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12/19/09 Technical Advisor provides Dioxin Literature references

 Dr. Peter deFur, our communities Technical Advisor, has compiled two lists of dioxin related research. Dr. deFur was made available to our community through an EPA program (TASC) that provides technical assistance services to communities.

bullet Dioxin Literature Reference List - 386 peer reviewed papers from 1985-2009
bulletMany of the articles are online, copy author list and paste into a search engine
bulletLiterature on Cancer and Dioxin
bulletThe National Institute of Health has classified dioxin (Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin or TCDD) as a known human carcinogen since 2001 due to compelling evidence of a causal relationship between exposure to the toxin and cancer in humans. This classification is based on peer reviewed scientific publications. To read more on the carcinogenic and other health effects of dioxin, please follow the links to related studies in the list link above.

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12/19/09 Garabrant in the news: questionable activities?

Recent Michigan Messenger article chronicles activities of Dr. Garabrant concerning the his $15M Dow funded Dioxin study.

A few quotes from the article:

bullet"When U-M researchers began giving presentations about the findings of their study, officials with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality noticed that the results were being mischaracterized."
bullet"Many who learned of the U-M dioxin study wrongly concluded that the dioxin contamination of the state’s largest watershed does not pose a health threat to people in the area"
bullet"In interviews, DEQ officials argued their agency has invested substantial money and staff time to address the confusion generated by Garabrant’s study and the way it has been presented to local audiences."
bullet"Garabrant did not share details of how he is representing his study in presentations to the Midland Area Chamber of Commerce, the Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce and other community groups."
bullet"Sygo went on to state that “the conclusions of the UM DES that the main exposure in the Midland/Saginaw area occurred during the 1960s and 1970s are suspect.”
bullet"The university’s study did not heavily sample households in the most contaminated areas, but it still found that people in the Saginaw and Midland area have more dioxin in their blood than people elsewhere. According to a university press release about the study, soil contributed only a little to elevated blood dioxin levels, but in public statements about the study lead researcher, David Garabrant, was unequivocal about the blood-soil relationship."..."There is no relation between dioxin in soil and dioxin in blood. The mere fact of living on the soil does not have any influence on your blood level of dioxin.".."“People thought this was the end-all, be-all of dioxin information,” said DEQ spokesman Bob McCann."
bullet"In an e-mail, Garabrant confirmed that he had not shared his presentations with DEQ, despite having promised on June 11 to share his PowerPoint presentations from those presentations with them."
bullet“Making the dioxin exposure study presentation public may be required under the Michigan Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), since Dr. Garabrant made the presentation as professor at the University of Michigan, a public university. Further, making the presentation public seems warranted by the University of Michigan’s educational and public mission.”
 

Dr. GarabrantClick Here to read the article

 

 

 

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12/03/09 Community conversation with Dr. Peter deFur 12/15/09

Click here to play radio ad

You are invited to take part in a free community conversation with Dr. Peter deFur. Dr. deFur is coming to Mid-Michigan to share in a discussion on the region’s dioxin contamination, our rivers, Saginaw Bay, human health impacts and the draft Consent Order between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Dow Chemical Company to address the contamination.

This is your chance to ask an expert about your dioxin-cleanup related questions, everything from public health effects, to wildlife, to impacts on Saginaw Bay and Lake Huron. Join us for an interesting evening of important information and discussion, about one of the biggest regional and statewide public health and environmental issues of our time. The topic is serious the path forward important. Please join the conversation.

Dr. deFur is an environmental scientist with expertise and experience in the fields of ecological and human health risk assessment, toxicology, dioxin and PCB toxicity, contaminated site clean-up and related issues. He has worked with citizens on the Pine River, Michigan; Housatonic River, Massachusetts; Fox River, Wisconsin. Dr. deFur’s bio is HERE.

Located at 1961 Delta Road, University Center MI 48710, you will find the Lecture Theatre on the southeast corner, next to the Library accessible from South Campus Road. Map to the facility HERE.

When: December 15, 2009
Time: 6:30PM
Where: Delta College Lecture Theatre

Sponsors: Tittabawassee River Watch * Clean Water Action * Saginaw Valley Sustainability Society * The Ecology Center * Lone Tree Council * Sierra Club Michigan Chapter

To review the draft agreement between EPA and Dow Chemical click HERE.

Dr. deFur was made available to our community through an EPA program (TASC) that provides technical assistance services to communities. In March 2009 EPA HQ’s committed to providing technical assistance to the above organizations.

http://www.cleanwatershedcampaign.org/2009/12/02/if-youre-reading-this-you-are-invited/#more-403

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11/19/09 EPA says public drinking water does not have high levels dioxin

The EPA has announced that repeat testing found no dioxin or furan contamination in the public drinking water taken from the Saginaw Bay.  The first round of testing for dioxin and furans had to be rejected because of contaminated laboratory equipment.  This initial sampling was conducted to establish a baseline against which to compare data that will be collected at a future date during dredging activities in the Saginaw River.  Residents requested the sampling because of the chance that dioxin laden sediments from the dredging might be drawn into the public water inlets.

  Satellite views of the bay show a large plume of what looks like river sediment extending from Bay city and up to the area near Whitestone Point where Saginaw draws it's water. The EPA intends to resume testing in 2010 once dredging on the Saginaw River resumes.  Note that the Saginaw Bay sediment has been found to contain high levels of dioxin and furans and will be further investigated as part of the proposed EPA and Dow's cleanup settlement process.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-ap-mi-saginawriver-wate,0,6543507.story

Click here for the the actual test results

Below is the original press release from July and a list of chemicals tested (click on image):

List of contaminants to be analyzed. Click to view In July 2009, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) tasked the Weston Solutions, Inc. (WESTONŽ), Superfund Technical Assessment and Response Team (START) to conduct water sampling at three municipal water supply facilities (Facilities) located in Arenac, Midland, Saginaw, and Bay Counties in Michigan because of stakeholder concerns about potential re-suspension of contaminants from navigational dredging into the public drinking water supply.

On July 28, and 29, 2009, WESTON START mobilized to the Facilities to conduct baseline water sampling. This sampling was conducted to establish a baseline against which to compare data that will be collected at a future date during dredging activities in the Saginaw River. At the time of baseline sampling, dredging activities had been suspended for over 2 weeks. Major findings from the baseline water sampling include:

• More than 180 compounds were analyzed for in each sample. Most compounds were not detected in any sample.
• Sample results were compared to the U.S. EPA National Primary Drinking Water Regulations Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) established under the Safe Weston Solutions of Michigan, Inc.
• Furans were detected in all of the environmental samples, as well as in the blank samples (not source water) at similar concentrations, indicating that the furans are most likely from laboratory contamination. U.S. EPA has determined that the furan data are not usable as a result of this laboratory contamination. Therefore, U.S. EPA is arranging to resample the Facilities for furans.
• A variety of other organic and inorganic contaminants were detected in all samples at low levels. Because MCLs are not established for all contaminants, sample results also were compared to Michigan’s Part 201 Residential and Commercial 1 Drinking Water Criteria (Part 201 Criteria). Although the Part 201 Criteria are applicable to groundwater, these benchmarks were evaluated. None of these detected compounds exceeded the Part 201 Criteria.

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11/17/09 EPA requests peer review of dioxin toxic equivalency factor

EPA issues notice for external peer review draft of recommended toxicity equivalency factors (TEF) for dioxin

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced plans to convene an independent panel of experts to organize and conduct an external peer review meeting to review the draft document titled “Recommended Toxicity Equivalency Factors (TEFs) for Human Health Risk Assessments of Dioxin and Dioxin-Like Compounds.” 74 Fed. Reg. 53233. The peer review meeting took place by teleconference on October 22, 2009. In preparing a final report, EPA will consider the peer review report of the recommendations from the external peer review teleconference and any public comments that EPA receives.

EPA Announces Availability Of EDSP Testing Battery -- On October 21, 2009, EPA issued two notices concerning its Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP). In the first notice, EPA announced the EDSP Tier 1 battery of assays and availability of test guidelines for conducting the assays included in the battery. 74 Fed. Reg. 54416. In the second notice, EPA announced the issuance of the initial EDSP screening orders and the schedule of issuance. 74 Fed. Reg. 54422. EPA intends to issue test orders for the first group of 67 chemicals between October 29, 2009, and February 26, 2010. Screening data are due within two years of the date of the issuance of the order. Order recipients must respond according to the schedules contained in the order they receive. According to testing press articles, EPA issued the first 21 test rules on October 29,2009. EPA states that persons other than order recipients who wish to submit “other scientifically relevant information related to one of the chemical-specific orders” should submit that information within 90 days of the order issuance date.

http://www.environmental-expert.com/resultEachArticle.aspx?codi=75185&lr=1

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11/17/09 Richard Maltby publishes his latest book in the Pollution Signature series

TRW appreciates Mr. Matlby's efforts in keeping track of Dow's contamination of the Tittabawassee River.

This volume, Community Involvement Plan, is the latest in a series of books including the Pollution Signature, The Dioxin Story, and Revival of the Tittabawassee, The Aftermath, Restoration of a Failed Ecosystem,  The Aftermath, a supplemental report, Implementation of the Framework Agreement, Implementation of the Framework Agreement, Part Two, and  A Postscript to Implementation of the Framework Agreement Parts One and Two

Copies are available in local libraries

Mr. Maltby  a retired professional urban and environmental resource planner  is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planers (AICP) and the American Planning Association.  He has 38 years of experience in Michigan, Illinois, and New York; the most recent as the Midland county planning director from 1983-1998. 

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11/13/09  Community Advisory Board members selected

TRW note: press release says 23 members selected but the release lists 24.  Did someone slide in a the last minute?

 Local Steering Committee Identifies Members for Community Advisory Board at the Tittabawassee River, Saginaw River & Bay Superfund Site

 Alexandria, Virginia—Six local leaders worked together to select members of a new Superfund community advisory group (CAG) for the US Environmental Protection Agency dioxin cleanup activities on the Tittabawassee River, Saginaw River, and Saginaw Bay. Members of the Steering Committee included Peter Bagley, Noel Bush, Tom Hickner, Terry Miller, Felicia Seals-Buchanan, and Bob Van Deventer.

 A Superfund CAG is a way for people in the community surrounding a Superfund site to participate in EPA’s decision-making process and to present and discuss their needs and concerns. The CAG will not replace other forms of public input, but provide an opportunity for a more in-depth exploration of issues important to the community and to help identify common ground in the community where it exists.

 The committee reviewed 46 applications submitted by local stakeholders. They sought to identify a manageable-sized group that could represent the overall community with regard to background, interests, age, gender, affiliations, geography, and viewpoints. The committee has identified a 23-member board with folks from Bay City, Saginaw, Midland, and several other communities representing a very wide range of backgrounds and interests.

 “All of the applications the committee reviewed were from well qualified and wonderful members of the community. The challenge the steering committee faced was to identify a group that looks like the community, with the appropriate balance of ideas, perspectives, and interests. It was a challenging task, and it meant that some great folks were not selected. The committee really worked hard to get the balance right and bring a broad range of interests to the table. I think they did a great job,” said Doug Sarno, an independent facilitator hired by USEPA to help manage the process.

 The individuals who have been invited to participate on the CAG include:

R. Drummond Black, Midland
Ronald Campbell, Frankenlust
Carol Chisholm, Saginaw
Charles Curtiss, Bay City
Michael Espinoza, Bay City
Kathleen Hart, Mt. Pleasant
Leonard Heinzman, Freeland
Deborah Huntley, Saginaw
Michelle Hurd-Riddick, Saginaw
Ryan Jankoska, Bay City
Lametria A. Johnson-Eaddy, Saginaw
Wendy Kanar, Midland
Michael Kelly, Freeland
Judith Lincoln, Saginaw
Jan McGuire, Midland
David Meyer, Freeland
Laura Ogar, Bay City
Annette Rummel, Frankenmuth
Daniel Sosa, Saginaw
Michelle Steele, Saginaw
Joel Tanner, Saginaw
Paul Vasold, Freeland
William George Webber, Bay City/Lynnwood
Bob Weise, Saginaw

The CAG is expected to begin formal meetings in January 2010.

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11/13/09  Part 5: The science behind dioxin delays

The Environment Report website  is running a week long radio series on the Dioxin contamination in mid-Michigan

Click here to listen now, who knows how long it will be available online.  Summary of today's topic below:

Two rivers in central Michigan were polluted with dioxin 30 years ago. The dioxin came from a Dow chemical plant. The toxin's been found in fish, animals, and dirt, but, of all those, contaminated soil might be the touchiest subject. A study done in the area suggests dioxin in soil might not be getting into people living there. In the final part of a series on Dow Chemical and dioxin, Shawn Allee looks at that study and the government's take on it:

The U of M study

The EPA review of the study

An article on the controversy from the Michigan Messenger

-------------

TRW note: this article also fails to mention the U of M study tested only 23 people who actually live in the contaminated area, the results where watered down by including over 900 other samples from outside the area.

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11/12/09  Presentation material used at EPA Nov 5 meeting

bulletEPA PowerPoint Presentation
bullet TAS Fact Sheet
bullet Literature on Cancer and Dioxin -provided by  TAS consultant website
bulletHuman health effects of dioxins: cancer, reproductive and endocrine system effects. Kogevinas, M. http://humupd.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/7/3/331 
bulletCancer mortality in workers exposed to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin.Fingerhut et al.
http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/abstract/324/4/212 
bulletThe 2005 World Health Organization Reevaluation of Human and Mammalian Toxic Equivalency Factors for Dioxins and Dioxin-Like Compounds. Van den Berg et al.
http://toxsci.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/93/2/223
bulletBirth Outcomes of Women Exposed to Dioxin in Seveso Italy. Eskenazi, B.
http://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/supported/sep/2003/seveso.cfm 
bulletCancer incidence in a population accidentally exposed to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-para-dioxin. Bertazzi et al. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8399687 
bulletA cohort study on cancer incidence among Danish gardeners. Hansen et al.
http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/114079771/abstract?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0   (link broken)
bulletCancer in a Young Population in a Dioxin-Contaminated Area. Pesatori et al.
http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/22/6/1010 
bulletCacner, Heart Disease, and Diabetes in Workers Exposed to 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin. Steenland et al. http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/91/9/779
bulletThe Environmental Protection Agency’s Exposure and Human Health Reassessment of Dioxin and Related Compounds: http://www.epa.gov/ncea/pdfs/dioxin/nas-review/ 

You have until December 17 to submit comments about the proposed EPA/Dow/MDEQ
plans (AOC) for the cleanup of the Tittabawassee River and surrounding watershed.

The fact sheet was prepared by an independent technical and environmental consultant funded
by the EPA.  When formulating your comments, please consider the following points, details
can be found in the fact sheet.

bulletCleanup control
bulletSource control
bulletCumulative risk
bulletPoor quality of agreement exhibits and attachments.
bulletPublic involvement
bulletCommunity involvement plan

You may submit comments via any of the following methods:

On the web: http://www.epa.gov/region5/publiccomment/tittabawasseesaginaw-pubcomment.htm
Email: krause.patricia@epa.gov
Fax: 312-697-2568
Mail: Patricia Krause, Superfund Division (SI-71), US EPA Region 5, 77 W. Jackson Blvd, Chicago, IL 60604

 

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11/11/09  Part 4: Hunters warned after dioxin delays

The Environment Report website  is running a week long radio series on the Dioxin contamination in mid-Michigan

Click here to listen now, who knows how long it will be available online.  Summary of today's topic below:

Fish advisories dot the banks of the Tittabawassee and Saginaw Rivers. Various forms or pollution, including historical dioxin pollution from Dow Chemical, have led to warnings to avoid certain species of fish and limit consumption for them. Pregnant women and young children are given more stringent warnings.

It's deer season in Michigan, and hunters are trekking through the woods, trying to bag dinner or something special for the holidays. Hunting's gotten a little complicated in some areas recently. Just because you catch something doesn't mean you should eat it. That's because a stretch of river in Michigan was polluted with dioxin - decades ago. In the fourth part of a series on Dow Chemical and dioxin, Shawn Allee found the state thinks old dioxin pollution from a Dow chemical plant poses a health risk today:
 

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11/10/09  Part 3: Living with dioxin delays

The Environment Report website  is running a week long radio series on the Dioxin contamination in mid-Michigan

Click here to listen now, who knows how long it will be available online.  Summary of today's topic below:

Several communities in central Michigan are polluted by dioxins from a Dow Chemical plant. People there have known about it for thirty years. But, residents are divided over whether the government should force Dow to pay for a cleanup that could cost tens, or even hundreds, of millions of dollars. In the third part of a series on Dow and dioxin, Shawn Allee traveled to the area and talked with some of them:
 

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11/10/09  Judge Borrello denies Dow request to delay lawsuit

Saginaw County circuit court Judge Leopold Borrello issued an order on 11/9/09 denying Dow Chemical's request to basically 'start over' with the class certification process for Tittabawassee River floodplain residents. Dow had asked for additional discovery, a new evidentiary hearing, and a new consideration of class certification.

Judge Borrello agreed with plaintiff's position, and will issue another order shortly, clarifying the two issues the Michigan Supreme Court had with his original class certification order.

While this is a big win for the plaintiffs, it has been 6 1/2 years since the lawsuit was filed with no resolution on class certification to date. Dow is expected to appeal this latest decision from the circuit court when the order comes out.

Click here to view Order

Visit our Court Activity page for additional details about the case

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11/10/09  Lone Tree Council responds to the Dow shills at last weeks EPA meeting

TRW members present at the meeting were equally astonished at the boorish behavior exhibited by the attendees representing Dow's interests. Rather than focusing on the issues, they spent all their time attacking the Lone Tree council and women in general.    Elected officials Rick Hayes of Freeland and Jim Koski of Saginaw made some outlandish statements, remember these names the next time you are in a voting booth.  Also noteworthy was the sound of silence from the three state legislators present at the meeting, do they concur?

Except from Lone Tree Councils new web site http://www.cleanwatershedcampaign.org :

A housewife, nurse and history professor

The EPA and Dow have negotiated — are you ready – an Administrative Order on Consent (AOC). This is the blueprint for a Tittabawassee and Saginaw rivers and bay cleanup, minus the method of cleanup AND the number to which Dow has to reduce its dioxin footprint, for example, Michigan’s 90 ppt (rather high) or 5 ppt, closer to background.

Dow has signed the AOC, but not the EPA. As promised, in its effort to be transparent, the EPA has provided 30 days of public comments from the community. The Lone Tree Council has requested for the community and been granted by EPA, an additional 30 days to do a better job. This document is huge, both in volume and impact; the parties had better have it correct.

The community has been given a $50,000 grant for a technical expert to help us interpret and comment on the AOC – again, that is to make sure the public is not getting a pig in a poke. We have obtained an excellent expert, a nationally recognized scientist, Peter deFur. Dr deFur has over thirty years’ experience providing technical services regarding the cleanup of contaminated sites to community organizations across the country, from Washington State to North Carolina. In 2000, he was selected as the co-chair for the Peer Review of the EPA Dioxin Reassessment, striving to work with various stakeholders to set a standard that is protective of human health and the environment. (SEE: DR. PETER deFUR PRESS RELEASE). Any wonder Dow’s surrogates are upset?

Also, I have been meeting with the steering committee, selected by the EPA, to review applicants for the Community Advisory Group (CAG). This is the group that ostensibly will follow the cleanup, and (according to the EPA contracted facilitator, Doug Sarno) achieve a better cleanup. According to the theory (and some past practice) a cross section of community stakeholders, reaching consensus, can push the process.

I was uncomfortable with the make-up of the five member steering committee, however — two neutral parties, two Dow defenders, and me. I requested, and the parties agreed to, another participant of my choice. He was Peter Bagley, a UAW attorney who has been a supporter but not an activist within Lone Tree Council. We debated, argued, were calmed down, cut and pasted, from the 43 applicants to the CAG. After about six arduous hours over two days we selected 23 members of the CAG –to be announced soon.

Then on November 5th, at Saginaw Valley State University (SVSU), the EPA held its Public Hearing on the AOC.

For those that didn’t attend, what might you expect?

If you predicted some angry comments directed at Dow for eight years of foot-dragging non-action or maybe a list of improvements for the AOC, you would be wrong.

The hottest topic was– the Lone Tree Council — Michelle Hurd Riddick and myself in particular. In many ways, the 150 people in attendance reflected a rich tableau of why Dow has been able to successfully avoid its thirty-year-old dioxin problem.

Tittabawassee Township supervisor, Rick Hayes, accused “a history professor a nurse and housewife” of causing all the problems (Michelle raised her hand to point out that, yes, she was a housewife, but she was also a nurse). This is the same supervisor who created and sells his unique hat bearing the logo “Dioxin My Ass”. Saginaw County’s Jim Koski also took the boorish opportunity to ask how “ a housewife” could possibly be permitted to insist that EPA look at drinking water in the bay. Kathy Henry of Tittabawassee River Watch was admonished for efforts to get drinking water tested in the bay. As most of you know, Bay City’s drinking water intake is very near where the Saginaw River’s dioxin contaminated sediments enters the Bay and it is near the Kearn Weadock ash landfill that is leaching into the bay.

The CEO of Bay, Saginaw and Midland County’s Convention and Visitors Bureau, Annette Rummel, read into the record a letter she sent to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson complaining of Lone Tree Council’s acquisition of Dr deFur, arguing that “…facet groups within our community do not represent the community at large.” Her various organizations expressed frustration that the CAG wasn’t the recipient of EPA largess (She neglected to mention that her organizations support the pact; the CAG won’t even be seated until December; she took no initiative to contact the EPA until she learned that we got the grant; and the technical advisor IS for the whole community. Ms Rummell can and should access Dr. deFur) In March 2009 when river residents and the environmental community met with EPA HQ, in particular Bob Sussman, chief legal council to EPA Administrator Jackson, we asked for and were promised we would get technical assistance. In that March meeting was Clean Water Action, Sierra Club, Michigan Environmental Council, Ecology Center and residents from Tittabawassee River Watch. Clean Water Action and Sierra club have a huge membership here in the Saginaw Bay Watershed and attended the meeting representing their members. We appreciate the Jackson EPA keeping their promise to the river residents, community and the environmental community by giving us the technical support

A property-rights activist, Leonard Heinzman, who lives on the Tittabawassee River, launched into a laundry-list of instances of “favoritism” shown by EPA towards Lone Tree Council, specifically reading into the record Peter Bagley’s participation on the CAG steering committee, the 30 day extension and our EPA grant to hire Dr. deFur – the Lone Tree Council was “self-aggrandizing”. (He neglected to mention that Mr. Bagley’s addition required the approval of the other members, the 30 day extension would have been granted to anyone requesting it, and his group never bothered to go after technical assistance because it’s more concerned about the label of “facility” on their properties than the pollution on it). If as Mr. Heinzman suggest, that Lone Tree Council controlled the DEQ and EPA, you can bet this cleanup would be much further advanced than it is to date. Seems like a great deal of power for a “facet group”.

An SVSU professor, Eldon Graham, said he was a member of “area professionals” who would welcome an EPA grant to hire someone with “no preconceived biases” (Talk about too little, too late –after eight years of Lone Tree using the Freedom of Information Act to break the story of high contamination levels, the cover-up by then director of the DEQ, and seven years of pursuing a credible cleanup; with volunteers who work full time, on the point of a cleanup, suddenly a group of local academics is interested in getting involved – go figure)

A physician and real estate developer, Sam Shaheen, spoke of treating patients for decades and never finding a single dioxin-related problem, expressing concern that his dozen river properties might be damaged by cleanup demands (He neglected to tell the public that dioxin is insidious and masks its presence in soft-tissue sarcomas, reproductive failures, diabetes and other illness wherein causation is difficult to prove; and for a health professional, there is also something repulsive about his concern for property values over the health of both the citizens of the area and its resources).

To their credit, Laura Burtt, and other victims of the contamination on the river, publicly welcomed the support of an expert looking over the agreement. Dr. deFur provided a fact sheet, and made a brief statement of his role, and some initial concerns that he identified and will be looking at for in the AOC. But the general feeling was — sign this damn thing and let the rumpus be over.

The EPA seemed to get it. Its professional staff gave a brief description of the agreement, its strengths and limitations, then listened respectfully, and made serious attempts to respond to questions. Most were going back to Chicago.

If we do not continue to remain vigilant the consequences are more dioxin flowing out to the bay, more floodplain contaminated, and Dow continuing its relatively unblemished record of avoiding accountability. There will be many more meetings as this long process unfolds, and we will need the community to step up and express their support for not just an expeditious but also a comprehensive and good cleanup of our rivers and bay.

Terry Miller

Lone Tree Council
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11/10/09  Part 2: Foot dragging produces dioxin delays

The Environment Report website  is running a week long radio series on the Dioxin contamination in mid-Michigan

Click here to listen now, who knows how long it will be available online.  Summary of today's topic below:

The State of Michigan, the US Environmental Protection Agency and Dow Chemical are negotiating an agreement to clean up dioxin pollution in towns, two rivers, and Lake Huron. The pollution is largely from a Dow chemical plant in Midland, Michigan. The government worries the pollution poses a risk of cancer and other health problems, and it's been found in fish, on property, and in the blood of some people there. Residents are asking why it's taken so long to get cleaned up. In the second part of a series on Dow and dioxin, Shawn Allee went looking for an answer:
 

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11/09/09  Part 1: A long history of dioxin delays

The Environment Report website  is running a week long radio series on the Dioxin contamination in mid-Michigan

Click here to listen now, who knows how long it will be available online.  Summary of today's topic below:

"In 1981, Valdus Adamkus was appointed to a regional Environmental Protection Agency office. One of his jobs jobs was to study dioxin pollution that got into the Great Lakes. His office compiled a report that said dioxin is a cancer risk, and that a Dow Chemical plant in Michigan was responsible for some dioxin pollution.

Dioxin pollution has been present in a watershed in central Michigan for more than thirty years. People around the country might think it's just a local issue, but there was a time when this very same pollution problem made national news. In the first part of a series on Dow and dioxin, Shawn Allee met the man who took the issue to Congress and who feels it should make news again: "

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11/06/09  TAS handout from last nights EPA meeting

You have until December 17 to submit comments about the proposed EPA/Dow/MDEQ
plans (AOC) for the cleanup of the Tittabawassee River and surrounding watershed.

As numerous citizens stated at last nights meeting,  property owners in the contaminated areas
 are not being represented well by the proposed agreement.

The fact sheet was prepared by an independent technical and environmental consultant funded
by the EPA.  When formulating your comments, please consider the following points, details
can be found in the fact sheet.

bulletCleanup control
bulletSource control
bulletCumulative risk
bulletPoor quality of agreement exhibits and attachments.
bulletPublic involvement
bulletCommunity involvement plan

Click here to view fact sheet. 

You may submit comments via any of the following methods:

On the web: http://www.epa.gov/region5/publiccomment/tittabawasseesaginaw-pubcomment.htm
Email: krause.patricia@epa.gov
Fax: 312-697-2568
Mail: Patricia Krause, Superfund Division (SI-71), US EPA Region 5, 77 W. Jackson Blvd, Chicago, IL 60604

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11/03/09  MDCH poster summarizes Human Dioxin Exposure in floodplain

Click on image below for the Michigan Department of Community Health's poster
 "Human Exposure to Dioxin-Like Compounds in Fish, Eggs and Soil"

"These results suggest that living on contaminated
 soil in the Tittabawassee River flood plain, eating eggs
 from chickens kept there, and eating local-caught fish
are sources of DLC contamination in the residents serum"

"Serum TEQ levels in all four Youth Cases are greater
than the median background level in a Michigan control population aged 18 to
29 years. In addition, the percent contribution of PCDFs to the total TEQ in the
Youth Cases is roughly twice that of control data."

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11/03/09  Reminder: EPA/DEQ Dow dioxin contamination meeting at SVSU November 5

From 6:00 - 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 5, 2009, the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will hold a public availability session at Saginaw Valley State University, Curtiss Hall, Banquet Room C, 7400 Bay Road, Saginaw, to provide an update on The Dow Chemical Company (Dow) corrective action work that has been ongoing over the summer and fall. This will immediately precede the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (U.S. EPA) 7:00 p.m. public meeting in Curtiss Hall, Banquet Rooms A&B, about the proposed settlement negotiated with Dow by the U.S. EPA and DEQ for cleanup of the Tittabawassee River and Saginaw River and Bay. Topics for the DEQ public availability session will include:

* Reach B and Reach D Sediment Cleanup and Capping
* Historic Outfall Investigation (H-12)
* Bank Stabilization Pilot Projects
* Update on the City of Midland Soil Investigation Process

There will be a short presentation on each of the four topics followed by some time to ask questions. DEQ staff will be available to answer questions on other issues at the end of the public availability session, if time permits, and after the U.S. EPA meeting.

Cheryl Howe
Environmental Engineering Specialist
Hazardous Waste Section
DEQ Waste and Hazardous Materials Division
HOWEC@michigan.gov
517-373-9881
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11/03/09  Dow cleanup public comment period extended 30 days

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has extended the public comment period by 30 days for a pending settlement with the Dow Chemical Co. of Midland over dioxin contamination in the Saginaw River watershed.

The extension is due to a request from the community, EPA officials said in an e-mail sent out this afternoon. Comments now will be taken until Dec. 17. They were to be due Nov. 17.

The proposed settlement — already agreed to verbally by the EPA, DEQ and Dow — outlines a process for evaluating and cleaning up historic dioxin contamination in the Tittabawassee River and Saginaw River and Bay.

A public meeting on the proposed administrative order on consent with Dow is set for 7 p.m. Nov. 5 at Saginaw Valley State University's Curtiss Hall.

An "availability session" with state Department of Environmental Quality officials is set for 6 p.m. in a banquet room next to the hearing room in Curtiss Hall. The early session is for state regulators to give an update on ongoing Dow corrective action work, officials said.

http://michiganmessenger.com/29268/epa-seeks-feedback-on-proposed-settlement-with-dow-chemical 

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10/28/09  Dr. Peter deFur to review EPA- Dow negotiated plan for dioxin laden rivers

Lone Tree Council P.O. 1251, Bay City, Michigan 48706
(Fighting for environmental justice since 1978)
www.cleanwatershedcampaign.org 

For Immediate Release: 10/28/09

Michelle Hurd Riddick: 989-327-0854
Peter deFur: 804. 741. 2922 or 804 690 4153
Terry Miller: 989-450-8097

Dr. Peter deFur to review EPA- Dow negotiated plan for dioxin laden rivers

The Lone Tree Council announced today that they have retained Dr. Peter deFur as the organization’s technical expert. Dr. deFur will be charged with reviewing the EPA’s Administrative Order on Consent (AOC) negotiated with Dow Chemical and released to the public on October 16th 2009. Dow Chemical is responsible for extensive dioxin contamination of 52 miles of river and the Saginaw Bay of Lake Huron.

Utilizing a grant from EPA, Lone Tree Council sought out Dr. deFur because of his extensive experience with dioxins, risk assessment, EPA and community groups. “We are beyond delighted that Dr. deFur agreed to assist us in evaluating this crucial first step negotiated between EPA and Dow Chemical,” said Michelle Hurd Riddick of the Lone Tree Council. In March, during meetings with EPA HQ’s, the environmental community and impacted river residents requested technical assistance to aid in comprehending what will be highly technical documents. “We asked for a technical expert of our choosing and EPA certainly delivered,” said Terry Miller, Chair of the Lone Tree Council. “We appreciate EPA hearing us.”

Dr deFur has over thirty years’ experience providing technical services regarding the cleanup of contaminated sites to community organizations across the country, from Washington State to North Carolina. In 2000, he was selected as the co-chair for the Peer Review of the EPA Dioxin Reassessment, striving to work with various stakeholders to set a standard that is protective of human health and the environment. deFur states, “I look forward to working for the Tittabawassee/Saginaw River community to provide the best possible technical review of these documents to ensure the most effective cleanup.”

Dr. Peter L. deFur is president of Environmental Stewardship Concepts (ESC), an independent private consulting firm in Richmond, Virginia. He is also an Affiliate Associate Professor in the Center for Environmental Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University where he conducts research on environmental health and ecological risk assessment. Links: Dr. Peter deFur: www.estewards.com  Environmental Stewardship Concepts, one of a handful of professional environmental consulting firms across the United States representing community organizations, was founded in 1996 by Dr. Peter deFur. Based in Richmond, Virginia, ESC provides consulting services that prioritize the public good and sustained environmental quality.

EPA Technical Assistance Service Contract

EPA/MDEQ/ Dow negotiated Administrative Order on Consent

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10/24/09  Opposing views: Saginaw Chamber of Commerce vs. Residents

Excerpts from the Chicago Tribune:
      Dow Chemical and dioxins: Cleanup deal's outcome could affect future initiatives

Resident

bullet View Video of local residents experience: The hazards of dioxin in the environment . Alice Buchalter and her late husband, Herbert, built a house in 1967 on a river bluff four miles downstream from the Dow plant. They raised five children here and encouraged them to explore the outdoors. Herbert Buchalter, a Saginaw physician, often cut mud-splattered firewood from the flood plains and raced dune buggies and motorcycles with his children along the riverbanks. When he was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2004, at age 70, the family wondered if dioxin exposure might have played a role. Days before he died, tests found he had high levels of the chemicals in his blood. Levels on their property were as high as 17,000 parts per trillion, significantly higher than Michigan's standard of 90 parts per trillion.

Saginaw Chamber of Commerce

bullet "Just because you are standing on this stuff, you aren't going to glow or get sick," said Bob Van Deveter, president of the Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce.

Tittabawassee Township Supervisor

bullet Every spring, Dow Chemical sponsors a fishing tournament "celebrating all things walleye" on the wide, fast-moving river that flows past its sprawling world headquarters. Signs warn anglers not to eat the fish, which are contaminated with high levels of cancer-causing dioxins the chemical giant dumped into the Tittabawassee River for most of the last century. Yet tournament organizers sell hats featuring the slogan "Dioxins My Ass."

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10/24/09  U of M study biased,  Garabrant a leading ‘industry-aligning expert’

U of M researcher David Garabrant (Photo by Eartha Melzer)experts.jpg (46723 bytes)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Excerpt's from The Michigan Messenger;

For the last six years, University of Michigan research funded by Dow Chemical has figured prominently in public discussions over what to do about the dioxin contamination caused by the company in the Saginaw River watershed. Federal and state environmental agencies have warned that U-M’s Dioxin Exposure Study has failed to answer crucial questions and that its results are being misinterpreted.

Despite this, U-M’s lead researcher on the project — a man some environmental health scientists say should not be seen as objective because of his track record of working for industry interests — is actively insisting his study should shape regulatory action on dioxin.

Some warn that the project is biased, and that the University of Michigan is being used as part of a Dow campaign to avoid liability for some of the most serious dioxin contamination in the entire nation.

Dr. David Garabrant, professor emeritus and founding director of U-M School of Public Health’s Risk Science Center, is the lead researcher on U-M’s Dioxin Exposure Study which was funded with $15 million from Dow.

...

In a confidential EPA memo leaked to the media in the summer of 2007, the agency was more blunt, naming the university’s Dioxin Exposure Study as one of several Dow actions intended to impede cleanup.

The results of the study are consistent with current EPA/MDEQ understanding, and will not have any significant effect on corrective action activities. However, public presentations of the preliminary results have emphasized how little effect living on contaminated soils has on an individual’s dioxin blood level. This emphasis has resulted in numerous media stories, an understanding by some members of the public, that remediation of dioxin contamination is unnecessary.

...

A 2007 International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health article titled Industry Influence on Occupational and Environmental Public Health by James Huff — now associate director for Chemical Carcinogenesis at the Office of Risk Assessment Research at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences — named Garabrant as an example of an “industry-aligning expert.”

“Academic credentials often are used to shield industry views and to create the illusion of objectivity,” Huff wrote. “In fact, a person’s professional address or organization does not reflect his or her public health philosophy, nor does the institution necessarily reflect a purity of pursuit.

“Industry often forms institutes to contradict or cloud damaging findings. One alarming result is that public health officials increasingly accede to or are coerced by industry persuasion.”

Dr. David Egilman, associate professor of community health at Brown University, has written extensively on how corporations fund science as part of a strategy to avoid liability for harms associated with their products.

In an article titled “Maximizing Profit and Endangering Health: Corporate Strategies to Avoid Litigation and Regulation” published in the International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health he wrote:

In order to reach potential jurors, who are unlikely to read scientific publications, corporations have developed programs to restrict and coordinate the flow of health information to the media. H & K’s asbestos media strategy relied on securing interviews of and placing bylined articles by experts “sympathetic to the company’s point of view.” H & K consultants referred to this as “capturing ‘share of mind’” on the national level.

In an interview, Egilman said that he was familiar Garabrant’s work, not on dioxin but on asbestos.

“He got paid to do these asbestos studies that I critiqued. Those studies were used to deprive workers of compensation for their illnesses. Companies paid for a result that helped in presenting evidence to juries that their asbestos brakes never hurt anybody.”

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10/24/09  VA adds three more diseases associated with Agent Orange

New to the list:

bulletB Cell Leukemia's, such as “Hairy Cell Leukemia”
bulletParkinson’s Disease
bulletIschemic Heart Disease: Any condition in which heart muscle is damaged or works inefficiently because of an absence or relative deficiency of its blood supply; most often caused by atherosclerosis, it includes angina pectoris, acute myocardial infarction, chronic ischemic heart disease, and sudden death
 
Previous list:
bulletAcute and Subacute Transient Peripheral Neuropathy: A nervous system condition that causes numbness, tingling and motor weakness.
bulletAL Amyloidosis: A rare disease caused when an abnormal protein, amyloid, enters tissues or organs.
bulletChloracne: A skin condition that occurs soon after dioxin exposure and looks like common forms of acne seen in teenagers.
bulletChronic Lymphocytic Leukemia: A disease that progresses slowly with increasing production of excessive numbers of white blood cells.
bulletDiabetes Mellitus (Type 2): A disease characterized by high blood sugar levels from the body’s inability to respond properly to the hormone insulin.
bulletHodgkin’s Disease: A malignant lymphoma (cancer) characterized by progressive enlargement of the lymph nodes, liver and spleen, and by progressive anemia.
bulletMultiple Myeloma: A cancer of specific bone marrow cells that is characterized by bone marrow tumors in various bones of the body.
bulletNon-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma: A group of cancers that affect the lymph glands and other lymphatic tissue.
bulletPorphyria Cutanea Tarda: A disorder characterized by liver dysfunction and by thinning and blistering of the skin in sun-exposed areas.
bulletProstate cancer: Cancer of the prostate, one of the most common cancers among men.
bulletRespiratory cancers: Cancers of the lung, larynx, trachea and bronchus.
bulletSoft tissue Sarcoma: A group of different types of cancers in body tissues such as muscle, fat, blood and lymph vessels and connective tissues.

Source: York News Times

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10/24/09  EPA U-M Dioxin Study Meeting presentations


The following links point to documents presented at the October 20th EPA review of the University of Michigan Dioxin Exposure Study

bullet"U.S. EPA Review of the University of Michigan Dioxin Exposure Study," delivered by Peter Preuss and Jeff Frithsen;
bullet"Plan for Interim Preliminary Remediation Plan for Interim Preliminary Remediation Goals for Dioxin in Soil," delivered by Betsy Southerland.


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10/17/09  EPA and MDEQ seek comment on proposed Dow Chemical Agreement

Release date: 10/16/2009

Contact Information: (EPA) Mick Hans, 312-353-5050, hans.mick@epa.gov (MDEQ) Bob McCann, 517-373-7917

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
No. 09-OPA201

(CHICAGO - Oct. 16, 2009) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 and Michigan Department of Environmental Quality said today that they are seeking comments from the public on a proposed agreement with the Dow Chemical Co. The agreement outlines the next steps in a comprehensive Superfund evaluation of dioxin contamination in the Tittabawassee River and Saginaw River and Bay and their floodplains. All three organizations have approved the proposed settlement. A public comment period runs Oct. 19 to Nov. 17.

EPA and MDEQ will not sign any agreement until after the agencies have engaged the community and fully considered public comment. The proposed agreement-contained in a legal document called an administrative order on consent-could be revised based on comments received. A public meeting will be held Nov. 5, 7 p.m., at Saginaw Valley State University, Curtiss Hall, Banquet Rooms A&B, 7400 Bay Road, Saginaw. EPA will hold a question-and-answer session and accept public comments at the meeting.

Highlights of the proposed settlement include:

* Technical activities Dow will be required to complete, including addressing high-use properties along the rivers, addressing erosion and movement of highly contaminated soil and sediment, and identifying cleanup options in an upstream-to-downstream fashion
* How the Superfund process will be used to meet Dow's investigation and clean-up obligations under its MDEQ RCRA (active facility waste regulations) license
* Legal terms addressing EPA and MDEQ's site costs, fines Dow may be required to pay and the process for resolving disagreements among EPA, MDEQ and Dow
* How the community will be able to obtain technical assistance

"This proposed settlement marks a dramatic step forward on a comprehensive cleanup across this impaired ecosystem," said EPA Region 5 Acting Regional Administrator Bharat Mathur. "We look forward to a robust public involvement process."

"For this process to be successful, the public must be engaged in a genuine and meaningful way," said MDEQ Director Steven E. Chester. "We look forward to discussing issues of importance with the public and getting their feedback on the proposed settlement."

The complete proposed settlement, as well as a plain language fact sheet, will be available to review at Grace A. Dow Memorial Library, 1710 W. St. Andrews St., Midland, and Hoyt Main Library, 5050 Janes Ave., Saginaw. It may also be read at http://www.epa.gov/region5/sites/dowchemical  and comments may be submitted electronically. Information on where to send comments by mail is available at the libraries and the Web site. Residents who have questions or need special accommodations at the meeting may contact EPA community involvement coordinator Patti Krause at 800-621-8431, Ext. 69506, or krause.patricia@epa.gov .

bullet Proposed Settlement for Superfund Cleanup Process Fact Sheet
bullet AOC Settlement signed by Dow and EPA

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10/16/09  EPA dioxin soil cleanup "goal" plan need public comments

Contact Information: Latisha Petteway, petteway.latisha@epa.gov, 202-564-3191, 202-564-4355

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is seeking public comment on a plan to develop interim preliminary remediation goals (PRGs) for dioxin in soil at contaminated sites. The plan includes a review of current dioxin cleanup guidance that has been established by the EPA, states and other countries, including the latest fully peer-reviewed dioxin toxicity assessments. EPA will release the draft interim PRGs for public comment in December 2009, and anticipates issuing the final interim PRGs in June 2010. EPA is currently undertaking a reassessment of dioxin, the results of which are expected to be released by the end of 2010.

More information on the plan and how to comment: www.epa.gov/superfund/policy/remedy/sfremedy/remedies/dioxininterimplan.html

To send comments via email, click on the link to the right: OSWER_Dioxin_PRGs@epa.gov 

------------

TRW note:  We have been here before at the state level when Dow's legislators pushed far a 1000 ppt level, 

 

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10/15/09  The last Dioxin Update from Lone Tree

DIOXIN UPDATE # 141
October 14, 2009
Have we come full circle? Is this really it? Will Dow really be held accountable? Is there a real cleanup on the horizon? Time (like there hasn’t been enough) will tell. This is the last DIOXIN UPDATE. Am delighted to welcome you to Lone Tree Council’s web site dealing exclusively with EPA take over of Dow Chemicals dioxin/furan contamination in the Saginaw Bay Watershed.

Please share this site with you lists and others who may be interested.  www.cleanwatershedcampaign.org  (http://www.cleanwatershedcampaign.org/)
Michelle Hurd RiddickLone Tree Council

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10/14/09  Deadline to submit Community Advisory Group application October 16

EPA is moving forward with the formation of a community advisory group for the Dow Superfund site.

Applications are now available for membership on the CAG and are due to EPA no later than October 16, 2009.

EPA has identified a steering committee that will review the application forms and select the membership for the Dow site CAG. The five steering committee members -- who will not be eligible to serve on the CAG -- were selected from nominations received from the community.

All area stakeholders are invited and encouraged to submit an application for membership on the CAG. More information and applications are available at   www.epa.gov/region5/sites/dowchemical  or by calling Jeff Kelley at 312-353-1159 .

Completed applications should be mailed to (or dropped off at):

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

111 S. Michigan Ave. (LL015)
Saginaw, MI 48602

Applications can also be faxed to 312-697-2568 or emailed to krause.patricia@epa.gov.

* "EPA Seeking Members for Community Advisory Group" fact sheet: http://bit.ly/cagfactsheet
* Application for Membership on Community Advisory Group: http://epa.gov/region5/sites/dowchemical/pdfs/DowCAGapp9-18.pdf

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10/07/09  EPA public meeting to discuss U of M dioxin study to be held October 20

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will discuss its review of the University of Michigan Dioxin Exposure Study, known as the UMDES, that was performed in the Midland-Saginaw area. Representatives from EPA will present details about the review at a public meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 20, at Saginaw Valley State University, Curtiss Hall, Banquet Rooms A&B, 7400 Bay Road, Saginaw.

* Oct. 11 newspaper advertisement: http://epa.gov/region5/sites/dowchemical/pdfs/umdes-review-ad-wide.pdf
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10/06/09  EPA water testing of municipal water supply facilities for Furans must be repeated

In July 2009, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) tasked the Weston Solutions, Inc. (WESTONŽ), Superfund Technical Assessment and Response Team (START) to conduct water sampling at three municipal water supply facilities (Facilities) located in Arenac, Midland, Saginaw, and Bay Counties in Michigan because of stakeholder concerns about potential re-suspension of contaminants from navigational dredging into the public drinking water supply.

On July 28, and 29, 2009, WESTON START mobilized to the Facilities to conduct baseline water sampling. This sampling was conducted to establish a baseline against which to compare data that will be collected at a future date during dredging activities in the Saginaw River. At the time of baseline sampling, dredging activities had been suspended for over 2 weeks. Major findings from the baseline water sampling include:

• More than 180 compounds were analyzed for in each sample. Most compounds were not detected in any sample.
• Sample results were compared to the U.S. EPA National Primary Drinking Water Regulations Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) established under the Safe Weston Solutions of Michigan, Inc.
• Furans were detected in all of the environmental samples, as well as in the blank samples (not source water) at similar concentrations, indicating that the furans are most likely from laboratory contamination. U.S. EPA has determined that the furan data are not usable as a result of this laboratory contamination. Therefore, U.S. EPA is arranging to resample the Facilities for furans.
• A variety of other organic and inorganic contaminants were detected in all samples at low levels. Because MCLs are not established for all contaminants, sample results also were compared to Michigan’s Part 201 Residential and Commercial 1 Drinking Water Criteria (Part 201 Criteria). Although the Part 201 Criteria are applicable to groundwater, these benchmarks were evaluated. None of these detected compounds exceeded the Part 201 Criteria.

Click here for the entire report

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10/01/09  U of M  presenting misinformation to locals day after EPA report finds it inadequate

Yesterday the EPA finds  the U of M dioxin study of little value (see next post) and the next day it's author brings his dog and pony show to the Saginaw Chamber of Commerce meeting.  He has done this before and is one of the primary reasons Dow has been successful in downplaying the contamination to the locals.

Per a MDEQ spokesman: “His report is being used to draw conclusions it wasn’t meant to draw,”  “The bottom line is, the report is good information, but it’s not any substitute for establishing a cleanup plan.”

As usual, the local "news" paper publishes the Dow PR stuff and ignores the latest EPA research.

http://www.mlive.com/news/saginaw/index.ssf/2009/10/dioxin_analyst_speaks_to_sagin.html 
 

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

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