Hebert receives environmental award from MEC

Kathie Marchlewski , The Midland Daily News 10/27/2003

A watchful eye, a strong voice and concern for her community have won a Midland environmentalist accolades and an award from the Michigan Environmental Council.

Diane Hebert, a health care worker and grandmother, has spent 25 years raising public awareness about the hazards of dioxin contamination and battling pollution issues, many of which are linked to The Dow Chemical Co.

She will receive the Petoskey Prize for Environmental Leadership today in Lansing at the council’s fifth annual awards celebration. Also honored will be Marlene "Marty" Fluharty, who has served as an environmental advisor to four Michigan governors. She will receive the Helen and William Milliken Distinguished Service Award.

"These two women are Michigan champions," said Lana Pollack, Michigan Environmental Council president. "They represent the best in public service and citizen involvement in our state."
Hebert was a catalyst in the death of a 2002 consent order many considered a "sweetheart deal" between Dow and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality under the John Engler’s administration.
The order, which was halted in the final days of Engler’s office, would have provided "site-specific" dioxin contamination standards of 831 parts per trillion (ppt) in Midland, as opposed to the state's current 90 ppt. Dow would have avoided potentially huge cleanup costs under the consent order's language.
As director of Environmental Health Watch, Hebert also was a part of a petition to intervene in the order before it was passed.

Mary Beth Doyle of the Ecology Center, which nominated Hebert for the Petoskey Prize, praised Hebert’s "dogged determination, commitment, creativity and courage."

İMidland Daily News 2003

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