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Dioxin Politics

bulletDow "Sound Science" legislators supporting Junk Science New! 
bulletPolitical campaign contributions of Dow Legislators
bulletGovernor Granholm
bulletJunk science bills introduced by Dow Legislators: "Polluter Free Ride" HB4617 / SB390

Political campaign contributions: Michigan Dow Legislators

bulletPublic officials and their connections to Dow, Detroit Free Press 9/29/04
bulletMany public officials representing residents with dioxin-contamination property in Midland and Saginaw counties have ties to Dow Chemical Co ... "Obviously, these connections are troubling" ... "I don't think campaign contributions necessarily buy votes, but they certainly buy access" ...
bulletClick here for the summary
bulletTony Stamas - Republican State Senator
bulletAccepted $29,727 political campaign funds 1998-2002 from Chemical Industry
bulletPromoter of Dow "Sound Science"
bulletSponsored Senate bill 1276
bulletJohn Moolenaar - Republican Michigan State House Representative, district 98
bulletAccepted $4,732 political campaign funds 2002 from Chemical Industry
bulletFormer Dow Chemist
bulletPromoter of Dow "Sound Science"
bulletSponsored House bill 5963
bulletRep. Moolenaar has challenged the 90 ppt standard dioxin cleanup standard in Michigan as not based on sound science. This is the same Moolenaar who has introduced the attached bills in the Michigan house. A quote:
bullet" In the science standards, all references to "evolution"
and "how species change through time" shall be modified to
indicate that this is an unproven theory"
bulletHouse Bill 4946  House Bill 5005
bullet7/2/04  Moolenar wants to spend $800,000 of taxpayer money to fund a study for Dow

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

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

bulletThe authorizing language established in the CMI legislation back in 1997 states that if a responsible party exists that taxpayers will not be burdened with the cost.
bullet(e) That the responsibility for the cost of response activities pertaining to a release or threat of release and repairing injury, destruction, or loss to natural resources caused by a release or threat of release should not be placed upon the public except when funds cannot be collected from, or a response activity cannot be undertaken by, a person liable under this part.
bullet(f) That liability for response activities to address environmental contamination should be imposed upon those persons who are responsible for the environmental contamination.

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

bulletUpdate: 10/1/04 Moolenaar waste of taxpayer money stopped by the Governor
bulletMike Goschka
bulletFormer Dow Corning forklift driver
bulletFavorite past time: Accusing people of being Nazi's
bulletLikes to shake hands, be sure to wash after contact.
bulletPromoter of Dow "Sound Science"
bulletLame duck Senator trying to feather his nest
LANSING -- March 26, 2006, The Detroit News

Michigan's 28 term-limited lawmakers have raised more than $1 million for their campaign war chests in this election cycle -- even though they're ineligible to run for re-election to their offices in November.  ... Goschka, who held another fundraiser earlier this month at the Beer & Wine Wholesalers banquet facility in Lansing, has raised $76,352 this election cycle and spent virtually all of it. Among items on his expense list: $1,431 for season tickets to the Saginaw Spirit minor league hockey team; $510 on Michigan State University basketball tickets; $472 on University of Michigan football tickets; $426 on MSU football tickets; and $318 to buy jerseys for a hometown basketball team. He also directed $3,245 to a losing bid for the Saginaw County Register of Deeds office.

Goschka said he usually gives the Spirit tickets to constituents. And he said attending U-M and MSU sporting events is part of his job as chairman of the Senate subcommittee that deals with the university budget.


bulletDavid Camp - Republican US House Representative for Michigan
bulletOwns at least $500,000 Dow Chemical stock
bulletMarried to former Dow attorney
bulletDow donated $215,000 in 2002 to Republican Nation State Election Committee & others excluding "Soft money".  Who knows how much of this was directed to Mr. Camp.
bulletPromoter of Dow "Sound Science"
bulletKen Sikkema - Republican Michigan State Senate Majority Leader
bulletAccepted $6,475 political campaign funds 1996-2002 from Chemical Industry
bulletPromoter of Dow "Sound Science"
bulletRick Johnson, Republican Michigan State House Speaker
bulletAccepted $250 political campaign funds 2002 from Chemical Industry
bulletPromoter of Dow "Sound Science"
bulletAt this time not sure if he is a sponsor of bill, wants on the Dow gravy train,  or just a misinformed legislator
bulletJim Howell, Republican Michigan State House Representative
bulletFormer Dow Chemical corporate attorney
bulletAccepted $450 political campaign funds 2002 from Chemical Industry
bulletPromoter of Dow "Sound Science"
bulletHowell intends to run for the Saginaw County Circuit Chief Judge post in November 2006 when Judge Borrello retires.
bullet"Behind Closed Doors", a CHEJ report,  chronicles how the Chemical Industry (including Dow Chemical) "methodically and strategically attempted to influence policy makers and conceal from and mislead the public about the health impacts of dioxin".  Click here for the full report which includes data on Dow Chemical's political campaign contributions to supporters of dioxin information suppression.
bulletA poll found 90%  of Michigan voters support a comprehensive policy to phase out persistent toxic chemicals (like dioxin).   Yet these "representatives" advance the cause of Dow over their citizens.
bulletHow ironic, Camp states "We need to let these scientist complete their work" in reference to the EPA's Dioxin Reassessment, yet the company & industry he supports are the primary reason it has been delayed time and time again. 
bulletChemical industry political contributions in Michigan election campaigns 1996-2002
bulletRepublicans:  $ 479,473
bulletDemocrats :   $  53,745
bulletSpecifically from Dow Chemical and it's employees: $216,469

Governor Jennifer Granholm

02/18/05 Contamination of public process as big a deal as contamination of watershed

While both the Free Press and Bay City Times call on the public to get involved and scrutinize the process from this point forward it remains troubling that every editorial comment has failed to admonish the state for going behind closed doors with the polluter to conduct the business of the people over resources we own.

History does repeat itself. Whether it was the EPA in the 1980’s, the Engler administration in the 1990’s or the Granholm administration in the 21st century, regulatory agencies and politicians are always willing to grant Dow Chemical a dark corner to hide in, away from the public, the light of day and a full scientific vetting and debate over dioxin. Dow Chemical is happiest operating in the sphere of vague regulatory language like the recent agreement with DEQ; a plan that permits them to be flexible and commits them to nothing substantive.

As citizens are permitted back into the process we can only hope that it's permanent and not contingent on whether Dow or their legislators and apologists are content with how things are going. The people's place at the table is always first and foremost and it doesn't matter where any resident of this watershed lines up on the issue. An open transparent process and the chance to hear all sides of the issue from all viewpoints is imperative if we are to arrive at a sustainable solution to this contamination. Transparency in government should be sacrosanct but it was sacrificed by many and tolerated by others because secrecy benefited their economic or political agendas. Is Dow Chemical a stakeholder? Yes. But the deference and privilege given Dow demonstrates the ongoing and every increasing power of corporations over both political parties and the democratic process. The contamination of Michigan's largest watershed is a big deal but so is the contamination of public process.

After years of the public information control freaks in the Engler/Harding DEQ it was with great relief and enthusiasm that we heard Governor Granholm's inaugural address in January 2003 calling for public participation:

................ And now that the door has been opened, my friends, you must come in. All of you. Come into the halls of government.

In light of recent events I am not so sure this invitation didn't come with a few caveats. Needless to say our enthusiasm has been dampened! The shape and format of upcoming public meetings regarding this issue will be extremely telling. We can only hope it will not be the command and control of information and participation that we witnessed in 2004. Cautious optimism is in order. But we do have a responsibility to be engaged and I encourage everyone to attend public meetings held by the state. Just show up. It's your backyard and your watershed. Be heard and offer up suggestions and ideas which can move this issue along. The Saginaw Bay Watershed is our home and the quality of its natural resources are paramount to our economic and physical well being.

MIchelle Hurd Riddick, Lone Tree Council

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

Dow backed legislation introduced by their hacks (aka legislators)

The points below, in reverse chronological order, depict local efforts by Dow to pass the HB461/SB309 "Polluter free ride" bills.  Dow says they have nothing to do with any of this, however their lobbyist are working overtime in Lansing to get it passed.

bullet03/05/12  "Sound Science" debunked.
Science Prevails


The significance of EPA’s recent release of the non-cancer portion of the dioxin reassessment cannot be overstated.


In 2005 many Dow Chemical apologists across the region and in Lansing insisted that the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality abandon the use of 90 ppt for dioxin in soil for residential contact. Hoping to improve the outlook on Dow’s pervasive contamination as well as to undermine MDEQ’s regulatory authority this cadre of apologists insisted on using the EPA’s outdated (1980’s) soil contact criteria of 1,000 ppt for dioxin in soil.


These apologists also cited, misused and incorrectly portrayed the Centers for Disease Control (ATSDR) use of 1,000 ppt because it was convenient for them to do so.


In public meetings and press releases alike the Dow Chemical apologists demanded " sound science” even as they attempted to legislate the use of EPA’s outdated science. They attempted to legislate the use of every Dow funded study while legislating the elimination of MDEQ’s authority overseeing corrective action. There was nothing these apologists would not do or skew to accommodate Dow’s agenda. Their idea of sound science was whatever Dow Chemical told them or whatever outcomes were divined in any one of the many studies funded by Dow. There was no room for independent scientists or public health advocates. No room or considerations for vulnerable populations


Dow apologists, supporters and dioxin deniers ignored the following:


A plethora of current science on dioxin toxicity


1998 EPA directive (OSWER) allowing a state’s more stringent contact criteria be used in place of EPA’s 1,000 ppt


2006 Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry letter from the agencies director, Dr. Peter Frumkin:


….we understand that certain Michigan state legislators have been referring to our Action Level in proposed legislation to modify the state cleanup for dioxins in soil. This is an example of how our guidelines have been applied in ways that we did not intend.”


The algorithm used by MDCH/MDEQ to arrive at the 90 ppt


The fact that no other community or state in the nation was using any number even close to 1, 000 ppt e.g., Florida 7.0 ppt, Oregon 3.6 ppt, Iowa 14 ppt


EPA’s support for Michigan’s 90 ppt


The evolving science on the toxicity of dioxin at lower exposure rates

The vulnerability of children, women, infants or the developing fetus



Hell bent on doing Dow’s bidding, Dow Chemical became the only conduit of information for these apologists. They refused to hear any truth, argument or science not stamped with the Dow seal of approval.


Two weeks ago, on February 17th EPA released the non-cancer portion of the dioxin reassessment. For the first time ever the agency established a reference dose for dioxin of .7pc/kg/day. This number is important because it speaks to the toxicity of dioxin at low levels. When the science is distilled a soil concentration of about 49 ppt for dioxin in soils is extrapolated.


Michigan’s public servants take serious their commitment to public health and the protection of people and natural resources in this state. MDEQ’s use of 90 ppt was correct and appropriate. But because of political interference by Dow and their apologist the states’ protective number was supplanted by a politically expedient and outdated number.


The disservice foisted on the taxpayers and the people of the Saginaw Bay Watershed is surpassed only by the injustice done to property owners, families and children impacted daily because they happen to live on dioxin contaminated property.


So who embraced outdated science, politics and Dow’s agenda?


Senator Roger Kahn

Senator John Moolenaar

Senator Mike Gotchka

Governor Jennifer Granholm

Public Sector Consultants

Representative Ken Horn

Senator Tony Stamas

Local Chambers of Commerce

City of Midland

Congressman Dave Camp


(The elected officials and community leaders who sat silent and let it happen have to take some blame too)


Supplanting the state’s more protective number with a 1,000 ppt denied many residents the opportunity for interim response activities over the past several years. It has resulted in lengthy delays and wasted taxpayers’ dollars, undermined the importance of legitimate science in policy decisions and placed the polluter’s agenda ahead of public health protection.


Corporate driven politics, whose primacy is embraced by these elected officials, is anathema to the work of the people and the transparency needed for communities be engaged. The regulatory timidity that ensues when these legislators attack good public servants who rely on legitimate science further hinders public engagement. It is an affront to democracy.


The activities of the aforementioned individuals are not abstractions and their efforts to undermine public health are real. Much works remains to be done. EPA needs to speak loudly and clearly about the toxicity of dioxin and the unique contamination issues that confront this Michigan watershed awash in dioxin.


MDEQ’s 90 ppt was not junk science. Their science has been vindicated and EPA’s recent release speaks to the ever-increasing base of knowledge on the toxicity of dioxin.


Senators Kahn and Moolenaar, perhaps two of the most outspoken proponents of outdated science will hopefully embrace the recent release by EPA with as much veracity as was exhibited in their in 2005 press conference demanding MDEQ use the outdated 1,000 ppt.



Michelle Hurd Riddick
Lone Tree Council
cell 989-327-0854

bullet03/04/06 New video documentary: "Mr. Damore goes to Lansing" now on-line
Paul Damore, a Grand Valley State University student and resident of the Tittabawassee River flood plain, has created a short "opinion" documentary that is now being screened in a number of film festivals in the Grand Rapids area.    The film covers Paul's 2005 journey to Lansing in attempt to testify against the now defunct HB4617 which would have given Dow (and other sites/polluters) a free ride to escape responsibility for the extensive dioxin contamination in our backyards.  Click on the link below to view:
12/27/05 Governor Granholm Veto's HB 4617  today
                Click here to read the Governor's statement on the veto.
Kudos to the Governor for defending public health and Michigan's natural resources.
Please call her and thank her for protecting our most treasured resources and our  Great Lakes
This veto is one of the most important things the Governor can do to protect the Great Lakes for future generation. She is to be commended for standing up to the legislators who would systematically derail piece by piece the very legislation that has made this state a national leader in environmental stewardship.
You can reach the Governor  
bullet 12/15/05 Over 100,000 people support veto of  Polluter Free Ride bill HB4617

Press Release issued by 22 groups representing over 100,000 people from around the state

bullet Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition
bullet Clean Water Action
bullet Sierra Club
bullet Michigan Interfaith Power & Light
bullet Michigan League of Conservation Voters
bullet PIRGIM
bullet Ecology Center
bullet Michigan Environmental Council
bullet Great Lakes Bioregional Land Conservancy
bullet Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation
bullet Citizens for Alternatives to Chemical Contamination
bullet Friends of the Detroit River
bullet Lone Tree Council
bullet HEAT - Hamtramck Environmental Action Team
bullet Michigan League of Conservation Voters
bullet MCATS Michigan Citizens Against Toxic Substances
bullet Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS)
bullet Michigan Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (MI-COEJL)
bullet Kalamazoo Environmental Council

UAW Region 1A Local 898 Toxic Waste Squad




Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice

bullet 12/09/05 Governor Granholm to veto Polluter Free Ride bill HB4617?

Local news  quotes Governor Granholm stating she will veto HB4617:

"This bill is not acceptable," she said. "They've got to go back to the drawing board. It doesn't achieve the balance we need for protecting the health of citizens and creating cost-efficient cleanup."

To Governor Granholm:

On behalf of the hundreds of residents represented by the Tittabawassee River Watch (TRW) we want to thank you and encourage you to stay the course on your plans to veto HB 4617 ( S3). Our concern is not with the “facility” designation. Our concern rests with dioxin contamination along the river which caused us to be facility. It is the dioxin that is a problem.

Efforts to detract from the real issue of contamination as well as efforts to malign the DEQ serve the political agenda of Dow Chemical and the City of Midland who have shown little regard for public health or the natural resources of the watershed we all call home.

Our properties will be made whole and the value restored to property and quality of life only if we move forward with cleanup on this contamination. HB 4617 will create confusion and delays.

Yes, we do care about our property values and homeowner fairness. Our properties are impacted by the presence of the dioxin, as is our daily perspective on living in homes and yards surrounded by contamination. There is nothing fair about Dow’s chemical trespass onto our yards.

Again, on behalf of the Tittabawassee River Watch let us extend our appreciation to you for your veto of this legislation.



bullet 12/09/05 Lone Tree/TRW Dioxin Update

Excerpts from this issue:

bulletSaginaw Chamber of Commerce
bullet It's unfortunate that they view a clean environment as a competing interest. There is an economic  value and quality of life that comes with clean rivers and healthy environments.........the concept however is not lost on all the Chamber members because a couple members saw fit to send the alert to us (see next story).
bullet "Home Owner's Fairness" is smoke and mirrors and so is the " sound science" mantra  and the Chamber knows it. This legislation is designed to benefit Dow Chemical, delay cleanup and it is intended to hamstring the DEQ. If you read the article in the Midland Daily News  you can see the City of Midland taking on DEQ. For two years properties were listed as facilities and not word one from anybody............then the DEQ, enforcing Dow's license, wanted to commence with testing in Midland. All of a sudden being a facility was a problem for Midland and these elected officials.
bullet Our water resources are our greatest economic resource and  one of our greatest quality of life assets. We could only hope that someday the Chamber of Commerce would acknowledge the same.  Tourism remains our third largest  industry. It is the position of the Lone Tree Council that economic development and a clean environment can co-exist and in fact will compliment each other for years to come.
bullet Senate OKs controversial 'facility' bill
bullet Granholm not likely to sign homeowner bill
bullet Great Lakes' healing mechanisms under attack, scientists say

Click here to view the entire update


bullet 12/08/05 Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce Exposed.

Veronica Horn of the Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce admits to being the prime Dow stooge behind the scene pressing for the passage of the HB4617 Polluter Free Ride bill.  Take a look at an "Alert" she  emailed yesterday to stir up support from the others in the CC.  Notice that not one word of concern is mentioned about the health and safety of the 1000's of men, women, and children who live in the dioxin contaminated flood plain of the Tittabawassee.   Ken and Veronica Horn have seen the facts and choose to ignore them.  They know the real problem is the persistent and migrating dioxin in peoples homes, yards, and bodies.  IF successful, their quest to eliminate the word 'facility' from our environmental laws will leave a toxic legacy in Michigan for generations to come.  The Horn's, Moolenar, and Goschka have lost touch with their community and now serve one corporate master in Midland.  Remember this the next time you vote, Ken will be up for election soon.  Click on the two links that follow to view Veronica's email.  Page-1  Page-2 (large PDF files, may take a while to load)

Call Governor Granholm immediately and tell her to veto HB4617.  She can be reached at 517-373-3400.  If not vetoed, the result will be more expensive cleanups, slower cleanups, and increased liability for individual property owners whose property may be contaminated.  Residents may actually lose the ability to force polluters to pay.  In addition, the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" provisions of the bill would prevent property owners from knowing that their property is contaminated, would prevent future owners from being informed, and would prevent the DEQ from doing anything about it, even if the property owners wanted a clean-up. This bill actually diminishes the rights of owners and future owners of properties and will require Michigan residents to pay for Dow's mistakes.


bullet 12/07/05 Lone Tree Radio Announcements,  HB4617 passed by Senate

Lone Tree Council radio ads are being played on a local radio stations  WGER and WSGW.  If you missed them,  click on the links below.  The announcements tell the truth about Polluters  Free Ride legislation SB390 and HB4617 passed today. The bills re-write Michigan's environmental laws to benefit Dow Chemical & other corporate polluters at the expense of every person living in Michigan. Now EVERYONE IN MICHIGAN must pay for Dows dirty deeds.

The bill include language to the effect that the "Department" (MDEQ?) will reimburse  the polluter if a test sample if negative.  The "Department"? They really mean YOU, the taxpayer. Click here to review the bill.

Dioxin moves through the soils of the flood plain every year after a flood, samples from the same yard may return test results of less than 90 ppt in one spot and over 5000 ppt a few feet  away.  Who determines  where and how much sampling is performed?  

Though the bill passed, it is NOT veto proof, please call Governor Granhlom and let tell her to veto HB4617.   She can be reached at 517-373-3400.  For the fence sitters out there, it's your last chance.

The ads where bought and paid for by the Lone Tree Council.   TRW stands behind every word. 

bulletTerry Miller, Lone Tree Council
bulletMichelle Hurd Riddick, Lone Tree Council



Seems a great many people want us to believe this legislation is not about Dow Chemical nor was this legislation drafted for Dow Chemical. Dow Chemical says it’s not taken a position, they cop ignorance by saying they’ve not seen the amended bill introduced by Senator Goschka; the bill which would grant them final authority over contaminated property on the floodplain.


Legislators trying to protect Dow Chemical are proposing to change the way the State manages our cleanup laws with negative consequences for everyone in Michigan.  HB 4617/SB1 would remove the state's ability to designate some property as a "facility" or potentially contaminated.  An amendment would also allow the polluter to decide whether a property can receive the designation.  The result will be more expensive cleanups, slower cleanups, and increased liability for individual property owners whose property may be contaminated.  Residents may actually lose the ability to force polluters to pay! In addition, the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" provisions of the bill would prevent property owners from knowing that their property is contaminated, would prevent future owners from being informed, and would prevent the DEQ from doing anything about it, even if the property owners wanted help.


Who is backing and who is lobbying for the HB 4617?

Dow Chemical says they've not taken a position on the legislation and in yesterday’s Saginaw News, Dow went on to say they've not seen the amended version of the bill. Odd! Dow’s lobbyist, Jerry Howell, was in attendance at the Senate Appropriations Committee meeting when the bill was passed. He must have forgotten to turn in his homework.


Dow has everything to gain by the passage of this legislation and they lose nothing

bullet11/30/05 Goschka sneaks in amendment letting Dow decide what is contaminated
bulletState Sen. Michael J. Goschka has added language to a hotly contested environmental bill that would require written consent by the property owner, the state and the polluter before including any property in a contaminated "facility."
bulletThe revised Senate bill essentially  negates the argument that this is about property rights or homeowner fairness,"
bulletThere is nothing fair about giving the polluter control over your property and your children's safety
bulletDow will use the language of the bill to shield themselves from liability, potentially blocking the inclusion of properties in a facility without on-site sampling.
bulletGoschka sneaked in the amendment after the Saginaw Board of Commissioners approved a resolution in support of the bill.  Do they still?  This is exactly what citizens warned the board about last month to no avail.  Will they issue a retraction?  Goschka and the gang are running around Lansing waving the Boards resolution implying they support an amendment they never reviewed.
bulletGoschka is a lame duck Senator, perhaps someone should investigate his finances to determine who is feathering his nest.  Any bets on where his pay check will come from after he leaves office?
bulletMichigan's  "State Board of Ethics" exists, file a complaint.  Click Here.
bulletClick here for a summary posted in the Saginaw News
bullet 11/11/05 Goschka admits bill will delay cleanup
bullet 11/10/05 Five Commissioners tell Senate to reject HB4617 and SB390

Sent to members of the Michigan Senate  


Tim Novak, Bob Blaine, Cheryl Hadsall, Mike O’Hare, Robert Woods

Saginaw County Commissioners 

Saginaw, MI  48602


Dear Senators,


We are writing to let you  know of our opposition to SB 390 and HB 4617.  In light of our Board of Commissioners voting to pass a resolution in favor of this poor legislation, we wanted you to know that it was not without opposition and disagreement.


While on the surface the intent of the legislation looks to be noble, it will in fact make it more difficult to assure that those responsible for the contamination of the area will address the problem as it affects other people’s property.  Not only will the legislation slow the pace of necessary and already agreed upon cleanup, it will increase the cost of cleanup and redevelopment.


We believe that scientists are better suited to decide the area of contamination than politicians.  Your DEQ has studied over 600 soil samples, and using scientific based assumptions, drew a boundary around the area most affected by contaminants.  This area is also targeted for initial cleanup and/or treatment.


The bottom line is that the property values of these homeowners may be devalued because of the presence of contaminants, in this case dioxin, NOT because of a property being designated a “facility”.  Disclosure laws still require a homeowner to inform a buyer of contamination.  The legislation will not do what the lawmakers intend it will.  It will only delay the cleanup by the responsible party and increase the cost of cleanup and redevelopment.


We urge you to reject this legislation if it reaches your desk. 


If you should have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at

989-xxx-xxxx (Commissioner Novak’s home phone number)




Commissioner     Commissioner     Commissioner     Commissioner    Commissioner   

  Tim Novak          Bob Blaine        Cheryl Hadsall      Mike O’Hare     Robert Woods

bullet 10/25/05 Saginaw County Commissioners pass "Polluters Free Ride"  resolution

On October 25, 2005  10 out of the 15 Saginaw County Board Commissioners passed a resolution supporting HB4617 which intends to release of Dow Chemical for any responsibility for the dioxin contamination of the Saginaw Valley watershed.

bullet The mission statement of the board of commissioners charges them with the protection of the health and safety of the people of Saginaw county.  The 10 in support of this resolution obviously never read the mission statement.  They also ignored the pleas of citizens against HB4617 as well as to testimonials of those demonstrating real and present danger to the health of themselves and their children.
bullet Special thanks to Commissioners
bulletCheryl Hadsell
bullet Robert Blaine
bulletTimothy Novak
bullet Michael O'Hare
bulletRobert Woods
bullet All the above had the insight and courage to vote against the resolution.  They understand the real implications of this bill  which hurts public health, stalls cleanup and protects the polluter.
bulletA number of TRW members/Residents spoke at the October 11, 2005 public hearing on the resolution.  We also presented a number of documents to further the education of the board members (evidently reading is not one of their skills).
bulletOver 72% of area residents believe that the dioxin contamination presents a moderate to high risk to the health of floodplain residents according to a recent MSU study.  The commissioners supporting this resolution are obviously out of touch with their constituents.
bullet TRW brochure on the issue (origami, print and fold)
bulletCopy of residents letter to Michigan State Legislators against HB4617
bulletCopy of MDEQ letter outlining a multitude of problems with HB4617
bulletRemember these ignorant and/or unscrupulous  politicians supporting the resolution in the next election, they could care less about the health of you or your children:
bulletKenneth Horn - the ring leader
bulletRaymond Bartels
bulletThomas Basil
bulletBregitte Braddock
bulletAnn Doyle
bulletJames Graham
bulletTodd Hare
bulletCarl Ruth
bulletTerry Sangster
bulletPatricia Wurtzel
bullet You can find additional information about the county commissioner at the link below. 
bulletReview all the content of  and then read the boards resolution.  One especially troublesome point in the resolution:
bulletThey choose to ignore the facts and instead voted to release Dow Chemical from any responsibility for this mess.   Click here to view the meetings minutes, the resolution activity starts at the bottom of page 35. 

bullet 10/05/05 Saginaw County Commissioners to debate "Facility" designation

A resolution in support of Moolenaar's facility designation has bee sent back to the Saginaw County Board of Commissioner's legislative committee for a full debate. Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.  The image on the left is from the  aftermath of the March 2004 Tittabawassee flood event.  Click on the image to enlarge.

Which of the homes pictured did not receive any dioxin laden soil deposits into their yards?  Which of  them will not be able to hold Dow accountable if the "Facility" bill is passed?

Most of the commissioners do not have a clue of what this bill means to Michigan and are dependent upon the likes of Goschka and Mollenaar to "explain" it to them.  We strongly urge the board to invite a representative from the MDEQ to attend the session for a fair and balanced debate. Click here for the MDEQ's interpretation of the bills impact on state regulatory affairs.

It's obvious that Senator Goschka wants Saginaw County's support to embolden his push for passage in the senate as designer legislation for Dow Chemical. 

The meeting is October 11 at 3pm in the Commissioner's chambers- 2nd floor at the Saginaw Court House.

bullet 6/29/05   Michigan House of "Shame" passes  Polluter Free Ride Ticket (bill 4617)

Only 29 Michigan state representatives voted today against a Dow Chemical Company-backed bill to conceal awareness of widespread dioxin contamination in the Saginaw River watershed.

Approved 77-29, the bill would require the state specifically to test any one of the thousands of property units in a large area like the downstream stretches of the Saginaw River before declaring it contaminated. The goal is to prevent DEQ from publicizing the truth about such gross contamination by tying it up in prohibitively expensive testing. This would also prevent prospective land buyers from knowing when they purchase contaminated parcels.

The 77 votes are a veto-proof margin, should the Governor choose to deep-six the bill.
The 29 "good" votes were cast by:

Stephen Adamini of Marquette, Glenn Anderson of Westland, Kathy Angerer of Dundee, Doug Bennett of Muskegon, Steven Bieda of Warren, Pam Byrnes of Dexter, Dianne Byrum of Onondaga, Brenda Clack of Flint, Paul Condino of Southfield, Marie Donigan of Royal Oak, Matt Gillard of Alpena, Lee Gonzales of Flint, Hoon-Yung Hopgood of Taylor, Herb Kehrl of Monroe, Chris Kolb of Ann Arbor, Kathleen Law of Gibralter, Lamar Lemmons Jr. of Detroit, Alexander Lipsey of Kalamazoo, Gary McDowell of Rudyard, Andy Meisner of Ferndale, Fred Miller of Mount Clemens, Clarence Phillips of Pontiac, Gino Polidori of Dearborn, Alma Wheeler Smith of Ypsilanti, Steve Tobocman of Detroit, Mary Waters of Detroit, Gretchen Whitmer of East Lansing, Carl Williams of Saginaw and Paula Zelenko of Burton.

Four representatives didn't vote:
Republican Jack Brandenburg of Harrison Township and Democrats Marsha Cheeks, Morris Hood III and Lamar Lemmons III, all of Detroit.

The rest have cast their lot with polluters.

---Even if the bill should pass in the Senate,  Michigan real-estate disclosure form requires the the seller to answer the following question:  "Are you aware of any substances, materials, or products that may be an environmental hazard such as, but not limited to, asbestos, radon gas, formaldehyde, lead-based paint, fuel or chemical storage tanks and contaminated soil on the property?"  Be very careful how you answer this question.

--All of the jokers voting to pass this bill where aware of the following and made the decision to vote against the citizens of Michigan anyways: 

bulletThe bills would increase the cost of cleanup for both the state and other parties
bulletThe bills would slow progress in cleaning up contaminated sites
bulletThe bills would prevent many properties from being eligible for state and local financial incentives that support redevelopment.
bulletThe bills would prevent the state from undertaking investigation and cleanup actions on a “homestead” regardless of whether the homestead property owner wanted that work to be done.
bulletThe bills would prevent prospective purchasers and lessees of contaminated property from getting important information about the contamination through disclosure provisions of Part 201.
bullet“Due Care” obligations would no longer include compliance with land or resource use restrictions that were imposed on a property as part of a cleanup.
bulletUnless samples had been taken on a particular property to confirm contamination, or the owner of that property agreed to it being part of a facility in the absence of sampling, a liable party would not have an obligation to address contamination on that property.
bulletSome of the new language added to Section 20120a(2) by the bills is unnecessary. Other new language added to this section may not achieve the apparent objective.
bulletState budgetary implications
bulletImplications to Local Units of Government

For details, click here.

bullet 5/24/05  Residents not allowed to speak at HB 4617 Facility "hearing"

The majority of residents showing up at today's hearing in Lansing were not allowed to speak. With the exception of the MDEQ,  Dow supporters were allowed by the committee to monopolized the entire 90 minute session.  

The following is a copy of the letter our representative intended to read to the committee (copies emailed to all):

Committee members:
Leon Drolet (R), Committee Chair, 33rd District
Jacob Hoogendyk (R), Majority Vice-Chair, 61st District
Robert Gosselin (R), 41st District
John Garfield (R), 45th District
Fulton Sheen (R), 88th District
Steve Tobocman (D), Minority Vice-Chair, 12th District
Alexander Lipsey (D), 60th District
LaMar Lemmons III (D), 3rd District


Michigan House Government Operations Committee
May 24th 2005

Dear Chairman Drolet and members of the committee:

I am here today on behalf of many of my neighbors living in the contaminated floodplain of the Tittabawassee River in Saginaw County.

We oppose HB 4617 and the removal of the “facility designation” label for residential properties contaminated with toxic compounds.

In our situation, our yards and homes are contaminated with dioxin, often referred to as "the most toxic substance ever known". It has been proven that Dow Chemical in Midland is the responsible party for this extensive contamination. Levels of dioxin of up to 7200 parts per trillion have been found in the flood plain of the Tittabawassee River, where safe residential contact by the state has been set at 90 ppt. It is our contention that this legislation is being done for the benefit of Dow Chemical and residents in Midland, who care little or nothing about the contamination of the down river communities.

The facility designation in this instance, defines a geographic area which under Dow’s license is subject to interim response, remedial investigation and cleanup. We believe HB 4617 is designed to make it difficult for the State of Michigan to: 1. enforce Dow Chemical's license 2. Access property 3. Protect public health and resources 4. Delay cleanup.

In addition, it buys into ever increasing efforts to blur and confuse the issue thereby creating additional delays.

While we understand the impact of facility designation on property values, it is our belief that the real impact comes from the presence of Dow’s dioxin contaminating our property, parks and communities. We are much more concerned about the dioxin on our property and in our community then we are about being labeled a facility. This is compounded by the failure, year after year, of the state to deal with this issue in a timely manner. This issue has become more about politics than about science and public health protection.

We do not oppose the use of facility designation because this label will ultimately be instrumental in restoring our yards to a safe environment. Soil sampling by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has demonstrated consistent and pervasive high levels of dioxin the entire length of the Tittabawassee River and floodplain. The dynamic movement of this river and its frequent flooding constantly deposits contaminated sediments from the river, its banks and people’s yards to new locations. Therefore, is it really necessary that every single property be tested to confirm that it is contaminated? The DEQ has collected data from three rounds of sampling, and though more is needed, we are confident in their ( DEQ) assessment that frequently flooded areas of the floodplain are contaminated and warrant being a facility subject to corrective action in accordance with the laws of Michigan and Dow’s license.

The floodplain we call home is so contaminated that the Michigan Department of Community Health, MDEQ, MDNR , Michigan Department of Agriculture and most recently the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry issued a consumption advisory for wild game along the Tittabawassee River and floodplain. This is only the second such advisory in the state’s history. Dow’s dioxin is hurting our property values, economic development, tourism and ability to raise our families in a safe environment. You need to know indoor sampling has found dioxin in excess of 90ppt in the house dust of our family rooms and living spaces.

The facility designation is appropriate because it would require Dow Chemical to take actions along the entire river to mitigate exposure to their dioxin and to eventually give us back the unrestricted use of our property and our homes.

Dioxin moves freely along this dynamic river system. Without the facility status for this area, contaminated soils will be transported and re-distributed over and over along the river. After last years flooding event depositional sampling showed areas contaminated anywhere from 500 to 2,000ppt; some in the parks some samples were in parking lots. This legislation does nothing to assist in getting a handle on cleanup let alone interim response activities.

HB 4617 is an attempt to give Dow Chemical what they could not achieve in the 2002 consent order where they would have no responsibility for their contamination down river. You need to know that Dow signed their corrective action license in June of 2003. Dow did not contest the license or the use of the “facility” designation and neither did Mr. Moolenaar. Why now? Why two years later?

Representative Moolenaar has a history of doing Dow’s bidding. Last year, commensurate with their license Dow was to begin soil sampling for dioxin in Midland. Something Dow did not want to do, nor did the City Fathers of Midland. A huge town hall meeting attacking the DEQ was orchestrated by economic groups in Midland. Representative Moolenaar accused the DEQ of being out of control but we believe the DEQ is doing its job and enforcing the law. Last year in an attempt to stop the testing in Midland, Mr. Moolenaar threatened to eliminate the hazardous waste division of the DEQ, gut their budget, stop all dioxin testing in the state and raise the standard from 90 ppt to 1,000ppt. Worth noting is that there are no residential areas in Midland that are known to exceed 1000ppt. HB 4617 is “designer” legislation intended to make the dioxin contamination go away with the sweep of a pen. This legislative detoxification is an injustice to every living thing in the watershed and disrespectful to the hard working homeowners whose lives have been turned upside down by Dow Chemical.

How did Dow Chemicals' contamination of a watershed get twisted into being the fault of the DEQ for enforcing laws already in existence to protect the environment and hold the responsibility party accountable?

The facility label is not an unfair label to property owners. If anything, this committee should be holding hearings on how Dow should be cleaning up their contamination, not on how to try and legislate the problem away. Our entire river community is contaminated with Dow’s dioxin, we have all kinds of restrictions on the use of our property, not because of the facility designation but because it’s contaminated. The presences of dioxin on our property constitute a “takings” by Dow. We cannot use our properties as we choose or intended at the time of purchase.

In closing it is our contention that:

This bill jeopardizes public health by encouraging the sale of contaminated property to unknowing buyers. This is not ethical or moral

This bill prevents the MDEQ from protecting public health by prohibiting access to properties

This bill violates the Michigan Constitution Article IV sec. 52 that requires you, the legislature to protect the natural resources of “ this state from pollution impairment and destruction”

The only way to protect property rights in Michigan is to require the responsible party to cleanup contamination.

There should be no special rules for dioxin as defined in this bill. ( page 18 line 25 and page 24 line 19)

This legislation will increase the cost of the testing. Blur the lines of cleanup and further delay resolution of this dioxin contamination of Michigan’s largest watershed.

The use of an exposure investigation (page 19 lines 1) further treats dioxin differently. We do not rely on exposure investigations to protect children from mercury, lead or arsenic. Why would you do this for dioxin?

This “ designer legislation” with all its trappings lays the blame for devalued property on the phrase” facility designation” when the real culprit is dioxin.

Thank you for the opportunity to speak to you today. We would also like to extend an invitation to any of you to come visit our yards and our homes.

Gary Henry
Kathy Henry
John Taylor
Gloria Taylor
Amy Taylor
Jim Brasseur
Joy Brasseur
Marcia Woodman
Vito Damore
Betty Damore
Paul Damore
Richard Stimpson
Marti Stimpson
Greg Whitney
Mary Whitney
Shaun Whitney
Howard Steinmetz
Barb Steinmetz
Bill Hard
Jan Hard
Roz Berlin
Carol Chisholm
Russell Kubik
Laura Burtt
Kim Ortman

bullet5/24/05 House BIll 4617 which would peel the contaminated "facility" label from hundreds of properties along the Tittabawassee River will get a hearing before a House committee this week.
bullet1/17/05 There baaack!
bulletDow legislators Moolenaar and Stamas to introduce bill to alleviate Dow of all responsibility for the dioxin contamination of Michigan residential properties.
bulletClick here for a Midland Daily News summary
bulletClick here to view House Bill 4617 of April 2005
bulletA few comments from concerned citizens
bulletActions are reprehensible
bulletActions are shameful
bulletActions are unethical
bulletActions reek of corruption
bulletRecall in order
bulletOn 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.  A poll found 90%  of Michigan voters support a comprehensive policy to phase out persistent toxic chemicals (like dioxin).  Yet these "representatives" advance the cause of Dow over their citizens.  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. 
bulletPublic officials and their connections to Dow, Detroit Free Press 9/29/04
bulletMany public officials representing residents with dioxin-contamination property in Midland and Saginaw counties have ties to Dow Chemical Co ... "Obviously, these connections are troubling" ... "I don't think campaign contributions necessarily buy votes, but they certainly buy access" ...
bulletClick here for the summary
bulletMichigan Legislators supporting bills 
bulletCitizen Response
bulletPromoters of bills are basing it on the fraud of "Sound Science"
bulletThe bills
bulletCurrent MDEQ Dioxin RDCC standard Vs old ATSDR standard
bullet2002 all over again, EPA told them no last time
bulletMedia coverage

Bills HB4617 and SB309 are based upon the fraud of "Sound Science"

bulletDefinition: "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 ( Trust Us, We're Experts, ISBN 1-58542-139-1, p. 222-223). 
bulletDefinition: "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 ( Trust Us, We're Experts, ISBN 1-58542-139-1, p. 222-223).
bulletFor additional information on the fraud of "Sound Science" and and how it is used by unscrupulous Legislators like those listed above to promote industry agenda's, click here
bulletIn a public meeting on May 26 2004, Mike Krecek of the Midland County Health Department acknowledges residents of Midland have a higher incident of diabetes than those in the rest of the state and nation.  Many residential areas in the vicinity of Dow's incinerators are covered with dioxin.  Krecek doubts it's because of dioxin but thinks it should be looked into.  Department of Veterans Affairs and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences have a strong suspicion dioxin can be linked to diabetes, Click here for details.  Perhaps Mr. Krecek should consider the Precautionary Principle NOW rather than waiting for the outcome of some inconclusive, Dow sponsored health study to be complete years from now.  Listen to the EPA's Dr. Linda Birnbaum speak about other non-cancer effects on humans, click here.
bulletIn a public meeting on May 26 2004, Mike Krecek  told Midland  residents they have one of the lowest  cancer rates in the country 2.2 in 100,000 deaths.  Re-evaluation of study data and statistics reveal the real ratio could be as high as 5,081 in 100,000 deaths.   "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 is an excerpt from a document published by a former Dow Chemical Engineer, David Linhardt, visit his web site or click here to view the entire document (pdf).   It should also be noted Mr. Krecek mentioned spikes of prostatic cancer over the last few years that exceed national averages.

The bills

bulletStamas press release
bulletSenate bill 1276 - Tony Stamas (Senate bill identical to House Bill)
bulletHouse bill 5963 - John Moolenaar June 2004
bulletHouse Bill 4617 - John Moolenaar April 2005

Current MDEQ Dioxin RDCC standard Vs old ATSDR standard

bulletMDEQ defends 90 ppt RDCC to City of Midland Manager Karl Tomion
bulletCurrent ATSDR 1000 ppt "action level" never intended to be safe level for human contact
bulletWhat Dow fails to mention:
bulletIn 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.
bulletThe ATSDR 1,000ppt is old science and does not incorporate recent studies and findings from the EPA dioxin reassessment.
bulletThe 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
bulletIn 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.
bulletSince 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.
bulletLet'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
bulletThe 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.

2002 all over again, EPA told them no last time

In 2002, Dow Chemical and the former Republican governor Engler MDEQ administration tried to raise the RDCC from 90 ppt to 831 ppt and a last ditch move to approve Dow's CACO before Engler left office.  The Michigan Attorney General office commented that the move was illegal and fatally flawed.  Note: the current Governor Granhom's MDEQ is the total opposite of Engler's as their client is now the citizens of Michigan rather than corporate polluters such as Dow.

bulletMichigan Attorney General letter to MDEQ telling them to STOP illegal activities 10/3/02
bulletMichigan Attorney General office email to MDEQ Art Nash of MDEQ 10/11/02
bulletEPA objections & comments on draft MDEQ/Dow CACO of 12/6/02
bulletEPA objections & comments on draft MDEQ/Dow Hazardous Material Waste Management License
bulletDow flawed CACO defeated 12/27/02
bulletClick here for more on Dow's political maneuvering in 2002

Media Coverage

Below are a few media articles covering current and past attempts of Dow to manipulate public policy.  Hundreds of other related articles can be found on our Newspaper/Media page dating back to January 2002.

bulletTRW/Lone Tree review: What really happened at the City of Midland Meeting
bulletSaginaw News: Dioxin standard under attack
bulletSaginaw News: Dow: State standard 'flawed'
bulletMidland Daily News: Legislators jump in on dioxin issue
bulletMidland Daily News: Residents pack MCFTA to hear dioxin answers

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