12/6/06 HB5872 passes in senate committee. The bill originally would
have required the state to recalculate the criteria based on a report released
in July by the National Research Council of the National Academies.
The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality suggested a substitute,
which was passed, that included that the Department "may" recalculate cleanup
criteria for dioxin based on the new information.
HB 5872 is a modified version of bill HB4617 vetoed by Governor Granholm in the last moments of 2005 to end
another sad chapter
in this continuing saga. Former Dow employees,
Representative Moolenaar and Senator
Goschka, are responsible for introducing
legislation that would essentially free Dow Chemical
of many of it's responsibilities for the dioxin contamination of mid Michigan.
P.O. 1251, Bay City, Michigan 48706
(Fighting for environmental justice
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT:
July 25 th, 2006 Michelle Hurd Riddick, 989-799-3313
Terry Miller, 989-686-6386
Tracey Easthope 734-761-3186 x 109
Kathy Henry 989-695-5348
GROUPS CALL ON MID-MICHIGAN LEGISLATORS TO LIFT THE SMOKE SCREEN
Misuse of Federal 1000 ppt Dioxin Level Increases Exposure,
State representatives should stop misusing a federal 'action level' not
designed for setting cleanup standards for the highly toxic chemical dioxin,
charged several environmental organizations.
Groups released a letter today from Howard Frumkin, Director of the National
Center for Environmental Health (NCEH) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and
Disease Registry (ATSDR). The letter was sent in
response to a request from environmental organizations for clarification on the
ATSDR number, often referenced by Midland-area legislators seeking to weaken
Michigan’s dioxin cleanup number. The letter states in part: "...the concept of
an ‘Action Level’ for dioxins in soils has sometimes been misunderstood."
The letter directly comments on the use of the1,000 ppt standard in proposed
legislation in Michigan. It states:
"The ‘Action Level’ was intended to trigger consideration of various
public health actions. It was not intended either to define the
need for remediation or to serve as athreshold below which there
is no public health concern. The appropriate application
of the policy guideline is to compare site-specific data to the 50
ppt screening level, not the 1,000 ppt Action Level, to
determine the need for further evaluation."
Representatives from the mid Michigan area have repeatedly proposed
legislation referring to the federal 'Action Level' as a cleanup standard.
This should make clear that that practice is not supported by the intention of
the ATSDR's 'Action Level'. The letter goes on to say,
"As you cited in your letter, 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."
"What many elected officials have attempted to do is absolve Dow Chemical for
contaminating an entire region with dangerous levels of dioxin. Raising the
"safe" level to a non-existent federal level is shameful," said Tittabawassee
River resident Kathy Henry.
"This should put an end to the continued misuse of the ATSDR 'Action Level'
by Representative Moolenaar and other legislators who have tried to confuse the
public," said Michelle Hurd Riddick of the Lone Tree Council. "This kind
of misrepresentation does not serve the public interest. It just means
more delays, more exposure, and more risk for the public while we should be
moving forward with a real cleanup that is protective of public health. We
can't legislate this problem away."
Environmental and community groups that have opposed attempts to weaken that
state's protective standard for dioxin in soils include the Lone Tree
Council, the Ecology Center, the Michigan Environmental Council, Environment
Michigan, the Sierra Club, Clean Water Action, and Tittabawassee River Watch.
The ATSDR 1,000 ppt was calculated based on a 1984 assessment by the
Centers for Disease Control that is NOT consistent with the current assessment of
dioxins cancer hazard.
The 1,000 ppt level was NOT derived as a "safe" level. It
was thought to be a level that could be associated with health effects. Cleanup levels are
traditionally set at levels BELOW those thought to cause health effects. Therefore, it is
not accurate to suggest that levels below 1,000 ppt pose no risk.
Referring to the ATSDR 1,000 ppt level as a cleanup level is not
accurate. The 1,000 ppt level is NOT used by ATSDR for that purpose.
The 1,000 ppt level was NOT developed to serve as a standard for
cleanup for residential areas
The 1,000 ppt level does NOT represent a line between safe and unsafe
conditions, although it has been used in that way
The EPA has been reviewing dioxins toxicity for more than 10
years. Their review has been repeatedly peer-reviewed, but political wrangling and the
power of the chemical industry have prevented its release. The draft document concludes
that dioxin is more toxic than previously thought
If the EPA reassessment were released, the states cleanup
standard would be more stringent, not weaker, based on a new interpretation of studies on
dioxins toxicity. The state standard would be between 12 and 53 ppt.
The 1,000 ppt level does NOT consider non-cancer health effects that
may occur when people are exposed to dioxin at even lower levels than those associated
with cancer. The most sensitive endpoint for dioxins toxicity is thought to be
If the state were to use the 1,000 ppt standard, the issue of
dioxins toxicity will continue to plague the state. When the Dioxin Reassessment is
finalized, the EPA will again look at sites and reassess previous actions to determine if
they are protective. So a cleanup to 1,000 ppt today will not guarantee that the issue
will go away. It could just keep coming up unless contamination is cleaned up to a
reasonable and legitimate standard.
Below are letters of support to NOT change
Michigan's 90 ppt dioxin RDCC from the last time
Dow's stooges tried to change it in June of 2004.
Ted Schettler MD, MPH, Department of Internal
Medicine Boston Medical Center and Science Director SEHN
"... State and Federal criteria restrict their
focus to cancer as the outcome of concern, though we now know that other health effects
occur at lower levels of exposure and may affect the entire population. In fact, due to
the array of low-level effects, scientists today are uncertain about the threshold amount
of dioxin that may begin to cause or contribute to illness in people. Moreover,
dioxin-related health effects are often "hidden" in the general burden of
disease and disability in the community. Trying to identify them as "caused by
dioxin" is a fruitless task. ..."
Katherine R. Silberman, JD, Associate
Director Center for Environmental Health
"... . Dioxin is known to cause cancer in minute
amounts. As an elected official, you bear a deep responsibility to protecting the
publics health. Please stand up to Dow and instead, stand with the people of
Michigan in the pursuit of healthy bodies and a healthy environment for your beautiful
Judith Robinson, Special Projects Director, Environmental Health Fund
"...As an early advocate for veterans on this issue [of
dioxin exposure] I found that one of the most tragic aspects of the entire struggle was
the record of deceit and cover-up practiced by the government and the chemical companies
responsible for the manufacture of dioxin, including the giants Dow and Monsanto...."
Joseph DiGangi, PhD, Director, International POPs
Elimination Project EHF
"... The events unfolding in Michigan are being
observed internationally. I direct an international NGO project on persistent organic
pollutants (such as dioxin) in partnership with two UN agencies with activities planned in
40 countries. International NGOs as well as intergovernmental agencies are paying close
attention to issues involving dioxin and other persistent organic pollutants due to the
legal entry into force of the Stockholm Convention. Dow Chemicals legacy in many of
our project countries makes public interest NGOs throughout the world especially focused
on events in Michigan to see whether the legislature will support public health by
maintaining the 90 ppt standard. ..."
James Clift, Policy Director Michigan
" ... The Michigan Environmental Council opposes HB
5963 and urges the committee to vote "no". The "action level" proposed
as our new cleanup standard is inappropriate. As stated above, this level of exposure
would cause an "urgent public health hazard" not a level considered safe
for prolonged public exposure. ..."
Paul Sutton, Chair Vietnam Veterans of America
Agent Orange/Dioxin Committee
" ... Research has repeatedly shown that low levels of
dioxin (30ppt 100ppt) cause the greatest damage to humans and their offspring, from
initial exposure out to 30 years and beyond the initial exposure. Raising the floor
at which human tolerance has already demonstrated adverse affect will only serve to expose
far more citizens of the Wolverine State and consequently serve to drastically elevate
health care costs in future years for those citizens least able to afford them. ..."
Kathy Henry, Tittabawassee River floodplain
resident, Freeland MI
you aware that Midland has the highest level of diabetes in the
nation? There is a very strong link between dioxin exposure and diabetes. There
has never even been a study done of just the affected residents in Midland and
those who live on the highly contaminated Tittabawassee River. ..."
Petition to stop the 1000 ppt cleanup level off to a great start
The kickoff of our petition drive got off to a great start
with almost 100 signatures obtained from various locations around the area.
Click here for the latest
Lone Tree / TRW Dioxin Update news letter.
Not a rumor: "HB4617 like" bills are being resubmitted by Dow's legislators
"Once vetoed as
a poor protection of public health, the Homeowners Fairness Act is back at the
Capitol with designs to restrict the state's ability to label any property as
contaminated." See related
4/7/06 story below.
Click here for more from the
Saginaw News or here from the
Midland Daily News
"Larry" Stamas "Curley" Goschka
Rumor: "HB4617 like" bills are being resubmitted by Dow's legislators
Goschka: To change facility definition
Moolenaar: To change the States RDCC
from 90 ppt to 1000 ppt
Stamas: To use the U of M study to determine cleanup levels
Click here to read all about similar
efforts promoted by the three
stooges last year. Fortunately, Governor Granholm vetoed HB4617.
Men such as these lack the necessary morals, ethics, and concern for the health
of Michigan's children to be in office. So now they want to try again. What's
their motive? Could it be re-election campaign finance? To be
New video documentary: "Mr. Damore goes to Lansing" chronicles the
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:
is a chronological history of their activities. This is not the end, expect more
of the same
from these charlatans in 2006. Remember, this is an election year, please review the voting records
of the state and local politicians on HB4617and vote
accordingly, their records are listed below.
On Dec 29, 2005, at 10:20 PM, David Holtz wrote:
The House vote on this bill was politics at its very worse. Lawmakers who
knew--or should have known
--better supported not only one of the worse
environmental bills in 2005, but one of the most
anti-right-to-know measures in memory. Governor Granholm did taxpayers, home
buyers and all who care about holding corporate polluters accountable for
cleaning up their messes
a huge favor with her veto. Those who voted for
this horrible measure will have to explain to their
corporate polluters trumped the public interest.
See the roll call vote below
Senate House Bill 4617 SENATE ROLL CALL 661
These Senators supported the bill to weaken our cleanup law
R Allen District 37
D Barcia District 31
R Bishop District 12
R Brown District 16
R Cassis District 15
R Cropsey District 33
R Garcia District 22
R Gilbert District 25
R Goschka District 32
R Hammerstrom District 17
R Hardiman District 29
R Jelinek District 21
R Kuipers District 30
R McManus District 35
R Patterson District 7
R San Born District 11
R Sikkema District 28
R Stamas District 36
R Toy District 6
R VanWoerkom District 34
Opposed, These Senators opposed the bill to weaken our cleanup law
D Basham District 8
D Bernero District 23
D Birkholz District 24
D Brater District 18
D Cherry District 26
D Clark-Coleman District 3
D Clarke District 1
D Emerson District 27
R George District 20
D Jacobs District 14
D Leland District 5
D Olshove District 9
D Prusi District 38
D Schauer District 19
D Scott District 2
D Switalski District 10
These Senators did not vote
R Johnson District 13
D Thomas District 4
House Bill 4617 Supporting
These House members supported the bill to weaken our cleanup law
D Accavitti District 42
R Acciavatti District 32
R Amos District 43
R Ball District 85
R Baxter District 64
R Booher District 102
R Brandenburg District 24
R Casperson District 108
R Caswell District 58
R Caul District 99
D Clemente District 14
R DeRoche District 38
D Dillon District 17
R Drolet District 33
R Elsenheimer District 105
R Emmons District 70
D Espinoza District 83
R Farhat District 91
R Gaffney District 1
R Garfield District 45
D Gleason District 48
D Gonzales District 49
R Gosselin District 41
R Green District 77
R Hansen District 100
R Hildenbrand District 86
R Hoogendyk District 61
R Huizenga District 90
R Hummel District 93
R Hune District 47
R Jones District 71
R Kahn District 94
R Kooiman District 75
R LaJoy District 21
R Law, David District 39
R Marleau District 46
D Mayes District 96
R Meyer District 84
R Moolenaar District 98
R Moore District 97
R Mortimer District 65
R Newell District 87
R Nitz District 78
R Nofs District 62
R Palmer District 36
R Palsrok District 101
R Pastor District 19
R Pavlov District 81
R Pearce District 73
D Polidori District 15
R Proos District 79
R Robertson District 51
R Rocca District 30
D Sak District 76
R Schuitmaker District 80
R Shaffer District 59
R Sheen District 88
D Sheltrown District 103
D Spade District 57
R Stahl District 82
R Stakoe District 44
R Steil District 72
R Stewart District 20
R Taub District 40
R Van Regenmorter District 74
R VanderVeen District 89
R Walker District 104
R Ward District 66
R Wenke District 63
D Wojno District 28
These House members opposed the bill to weaken our cleanup law
D Adamini District 109
D Anderson District 18
D Angerer District 55
D Bennett District 92
D Bieda District 25
D Brown District 110
D Byrnes District 52
D Byrum District 67
D Condino District 35
D Cushingberry District 8
D Donigan District 26
D Farrah District 13
D Gillard District 106
D Hood District 11
D Hopgood District 22
D Hunter District 9
D Kolb District 53
D Law, Kathleen District 23
D Leland District 10
D Lipsey District 60
D McConico District 5
D McDowell District 107
D Meisner District 27
D Miller District 31
D Phillips District 29
D Plakas District 16
D Smith, Alma District 54
D Tobocman District 12
D Vagnozzi District 37
D Waters District 4
D Whitmer District 69
D Zelenko District 50
These House members did not vote
D Cheeks District 6
D Clack District 34
D Lemmons, III District 3
D Lemmons, Jr. District 2
D Murphy District 68
D Smith, Virgil District 7
D Williams District 95
Post Mortem: Why
Governor Granholm vetoed Polluter Free Ride bill HB4617
Woiwode, State Director, Sierra Club Mackinac (Michigan) Chapter
"Governor Granholm has shot down one of the most outrageous bills to come
out of the Legislature in a long time. HB 4617, erroneously labeled by its
proponents the Homeowner Protection Act, was vetoed by the Governor on
Tuesday (DEQ press release at
http://www.michigan.gov/deq/0,1607,7-135--133138--,00.html ). The bill,
pushed hard by legislators from the Midland area, became worse as it moved
through the Legislature, and would have gutted key portions of both the
process and the standards for clean up of contaminated sites all over
Michigan, both letting responsible parties off the hook for clean up AND
leaving many homeowners unable to get any clean up of their contaminated
property. Many communities in Michigan would have immediately seen the
effect of this appalling shift of burden from the responsible parties to the
victims of pollution.
An analysis of the bill provided below points out some of its worst
provisions. Although many of these severe flaws were explained to the
Legislature by DEQ officials at least 3 separate times in comments on the
bill, they were none the less left in the bill. We can only assume, when
such disturbing concerns were repeatedly raised and not addressed that the
Legislative leaders and proponents of this package intended to gut
Michigan’s environmental clean up law. In the press release from the DEQ,
Director Steve Chester explained that the bill “would have serious
implications for the state’s cleanup program, and would put property owners,
the health of residents, and their environment at risk.”
The scary thing about this is that it appears that the proponents of gutting
Michigan’s clean up laws are not going to simply get over the Governor doing
the right thing by vetoing this bill. Already, and not surprisingly, Russ
Harding, who was by far Michigan’s worst director of environmental programs
ever, has weighed in with a broadside attack and a grossly distorted
interpretation of the bill (
http://www.mackinac.org/article.aspx?ID=7501 ). Keeping up the myth
perpetrated by the folks who clearly are looking to benefit from gutting
Michigan’s clean up laws, Harding, now with the Mackinac Center, makes the
ludicrous claim that current state law ignores property rights and sound
science. As has happened throughout this debate, the proponents of HB 4617
have tried to use verbal slight of hand to distract Legislators and the
people in Midland in particular from real goal of this legislative effort:
to let Dow and others responsible for contaminating property get out of
their responsibility to clean up these messes.
Thanks are due to Governor Granholm and the DEQ for holding firm on a
crucial part of the clean up law in Michigan. Please take a moment to let
them know you appreciate their stalwart defense of common sense and REAL
science -- and while you’re at it, find out how your legislators voted (for
House votes go to
http://www.michiganvotes.org/RollCall.aspx?ID=168296 , for Senate votes
Weakens cleanup requirements that protect Michigan’s families from
contaminated soil and contamination of the food chain.
By wasting dollars on unnecessary testing, the legislation will mean
less cleanup putting more citizens at risk from contamination.
Our families deserve to have information on contamination that
affects their lives. This bill would restrict that information flow and
leave citizens unaware of contamination and how to reduce risks.
The bill would endanger our state’s great resources by preventing
the DEQ from stopping contamination polluting our lakes and streams.
The priority for any cleanup project must be placed on protecting
our environment, and our citizens.
This legislation simply creates opportunities for polluters to avoid and
delay cleaning up contamination, putting our environment at an even
This legislation would waste countless dollars on unnecessary
testing, disputes, and delays.
This takes away from money that could go towards clean-up and
redevelopment of a contaminated property for productive use.
Supporters of this legislation say that the stigma of a label hurts
They are wrong. It is the contamination itself that hurts our economy,
and we must retain the tools to clean up that contamination quickly and
efficiently in order to move our economy forward.
Anne Woiwode, State Director
Sierra Club Mackinac (Michigan) Chapter
109 E. Grand River Avenue, Lansing, MI 48906
517-484-2372 fax 517-484-3108
The language of HB4617 intentionally left out key references to MDEQ Administrative Rules for Part 201,
Environmental Remediation, of the Natural Resources and Environmental protection
At, 1994. Click here
to view a copy of the rules as posted on MDEQ website 1/2/06.
20120a(8) lists the rules (exposure/transport pathways) that have to be
considered in a generic residential cleanup. The omission of the rules for soil
direct contact, sediment cleanup, groundwater contact, and groundwater-surface
water contact would prevent the DEQ from considering any of these criteria for
generic residential cleanups. The pertinent rules are 299.5720, 299.5730,
299.5712, and 299.5716, respectively. In addition, the omission of R 299.5728
could mean that we would be unable to require response activity to address other
risks (such as food chain contamination) that are not ordinarily factored into
generic cleanup criteria. R299.5728 is designed to be called on when necessary
to assure that special circumstances, not considered in development of generic
criteria, be addressed as part of a remedial action that poses some additional
Governor Granholm veto's Polluter Free Ride bill HB4617
Governor Granholm Veto's HB 4617 today
here to read the Governor's statement on the veto.
Kudos to the Governor for defending public health and Michigan's natural
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
You can reach the Governor
Lone Tree Council / TRW
Detroit Free Press supports veto of Polluter Free Ride bill HB4617
"ill-conceived bill that would effectively cripple state
efforts to respond to pollution problems."
"she should not sign it, and anyone who professes to care
about the environment in this state cannot seriously want her to."
"Calling it the "Homeowner Fairness Act" is doubly
"Moolenaar's bill is an overreaction"
"test for pollution in every individual parcel of a
contaminated area and allow the suspected polluter to contest the findings,
case by case"
"From a scientific standpoint, such testing also is
"The cost of such testing would be enormous, draining
money much better spent on cleanup plans, as would the delays in fixing
pollution problems that really do affect property values."
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
Peninsula Environmental Coalition
Interfaith Power & Light
League of Conservation Voters
Lakes Bioregional Land Conservancy
Citizens for Water Conservation
for Alternatives to Chemical Contamination
the Detroit River
Hamtramck Environmental Action Team
League of Conservation Voters
Michigan Citizens Against Toxic Substances
Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS)
Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (MI-COEJL)
UAW Region 1A Local 898
Toxic Waste Squad
Working for Environmental Justice
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.
Fair and balanced reporting?
Other than for the headline,
today's local news coverage of Granholms possible veto of HB4617, the story
is entirely one sided with no input from the homeowners and the rest of the
state that want the bill vetoed. Recently (12/8, see
story below), the local newspaper published an article about toxins in
the Great Lakes and edited out a key paragraph about the human health effects of
dioxin and other compounds. This pattern was repeated on a local radio
station which aired two interviews this morning. The first segment was
with an individual from Midland representing those few which favor Dow Chemical,
the second was with Lone Tree Councils Terry Miller, representing the rest of
us. The radio host was all warm and gushy with the Dow guy and
virtually attacked Terry. Click on the links below to listen to the Lone
Tree radio broadcasts:
The Midland/Dow group started running their radio spots yesterday and plan on
running full page ads in the Saginaw and Lansing papers promoting the
Polluter Free Ride bill. The Lone Tree Council paid for two
expensive radio ads that ran this week against H4617. Who is bankrolling
the Midland Matters group for it's ads? Dow? Chamber of Commerce?
Why does a tiny group of individuals in Midland want to weaken our
Michigan's environmental cleanup laws? It's pretty obvious someone is
calling in all it's favors and orchestrating the PR blitz.
Maybe the news media ought to try a little investigative reporting.
Governor Granholm: Stay the course and veto HB4617.
Lone Tree/TRW Dioxin Update
from this issue:
Saginaw Chamber of Commerce
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).
"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
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.
Senate OKs controversial 'facility' bill
Granholm not likely to sign homeowner bill
Great Lakes' healing mechanisms under attack, scientists say
CALL GOVERNOR GRANHOLM AT 1-517-373-3400 AND ASK HER TO VETO HB 4617
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-1Page-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
Lone Tree/TRW Dioxin Update
from this issue:
4617 Passes both the Senate and the House
to Senator Goschka the taxpayers get to pick up some of Dow Chemical's
CALL GOVERNOR GRANHOLM AT 1-517-373-3400 AND ASK HER TO VETO HB 4617
Don't kid yourself - toxins persist in the Great Lakes.
All but one paragraph of this report was printed on front page (not
on-line) by the local newspaper.
Below is the section the left out:
"(The board cites) compelling
evidence that contaminants we've known about for decades -- PCBs,
dioxin and mercury -- are causing increased disease, reduced IQs and
other serious health problems in humans," said Mike Magner, a
researcher with the center. "On top of that, they warn that a host
of other chemicals -- flame retardants, plastics additives and even
cosmetics and health-care products -- may be compounding those
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
Free Ride legislation SB390 and HB4617 passed today. The bills re-write
laws to benefit Dow
Chemical & other corporate polluters at the expense of every person living
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
Click here to review the
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
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
The ads where bought and paid for by the Lone Tree Council. TRW stands
behind every word.
ALL ABOUT HB 4617 S1
BECAUSE IT’S ALL ABOUT DOW CHEMICAL
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.
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!
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
In the spirit of the season, we are making a list and checking it twice.
The voting record on these bills will determine which politicians receive
lumps of coal in their next election campaign.
11/30/05 Goschka sneaks in amendment
letting Dow decide what is contaminated
State 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."
The revised Senate bill essentially negates the
argument that this is about property rights or homeowner fairness,"
There is nothing fair about giving the polluter control
over your property and your children's safety
Dow 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.
Goschka 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
Goschka 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?
Michigan's "State Board of Ethics" exists, file a
for a summary posted in the Saginaw News
Lone Tree/TRW Dioxin Update
from this issue:
Carl Williams Health Alert newsletter
Rep Williams votes against
HB4617 will delay
frequently flooded areas of the Tittabawassee River are highly
contaminated with dioxin. Hundreds and hundreds of samples demonstrate
it beyond a doubt. As the Tittabawassee River moves and floods and
experiences high water events these contaminants are being transported
and deposited within the floodplain and down river; a scientific fact
dangerously ignored in this irresponsible piece of legislation. Any
sampling data of property is only a snap shot in time altered by the
next movement of large volumes of water and contaminated sediment
across property lines and township borders. We keep hearing the call
for "sound science" but these legislators ignore it when the relevance
doesn't support their agenda
Goschka amends HB4617 to allow Dow to
decided what is cleaned up.
Goschka amended HB 4617 in the Senate Appropriations committee with
language which stipulates a homeowner would need the agreement
of the responsible party, in this case Dow Chemical, before
their property could be listed as a facility. Unbelievable but true.
MDEQ calls HB4617 "The Polluter
Relief Act" because
Five Commissioners tell Senate to
reject HB4617 and SB309
Sent to members of the Michigan Senate
Tim Novak, Bob Blaine, Cheryl Hadsall, Mike
O’Hare, Robert Woods
Saginaw County Commissioners
Saginaw, MI 48602
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
Saginaw County Commissioners pass
"Polluters Free Ride" resolution
On October 25,
2005 10 out of the 15 Saginaw County Board Commissioners
passed a resolution
which intends to release of Dow Chemical for any responsibility for the
dioxin contamination of the Saginaw Valley watershed.
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.
Special thanks to Commissioners
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.
A 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
Over 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
The commissioners supporting this resolution are obviously out of touch
with their constituents.
Review all the
content of www.trwnews.net
and then read the boards resolution. One especially troublesome
point in the resolution:
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.
...One thing of interest. Several of the residents who spoke in support
of the legislation to remove the "facility" from their properties also
dismissed the toxicity of dioxin and trivialized its human health
impacts in their statements to the commissioners. Yet many of these
residents took advantage of their properties being a "facility" and
permitted contractors, this past summer, to come into their homes and
clean carpets, wash walls, clean duct work and landscape their yards to
minimize their exposure to a chemical they are not worried about? They
would, however, by supporting HB 4617, deny the same interventions to
other residents whose homes and properties are contaminated....
...Someone pointed out that the mission statement of the board of
commissioners charges them with the protection of the health and safety
of the people of Saginaw county. But heck, they were worried some guy
couldn't build a fire pit. If and when this facility legislation is
removed the remaining properties on the floodplain designated a
Priority One or Priority Two may not receive mitigation activity because
they will not be considered a facility...........to bad for the mom with
kids but we can all find comfort in knowing that fire pit will get
built. Special thanks to Commissioners Hadsell, Blaine, Novak, O'Hare
and Woods for voting against the resolution which hurts public
health, stalls cleanup and protects the polluter. You can find your
county commissioner at the link below.
HB4617 Moving through Senate - What's the rush?
... Moolenaar and Goschka's zeal to get this done by the first of the
year may have everything to do with Dow's requirements to submit
Remedial Work Plans for the Tittabawassee River and Midland by Dec.
31st. HB 4617 is intended to limit the authority and ability of DEQ to
enforce Dow's license and pursue one of the worst dioxin contaminations
in the Midwest. It is once again an attempt to relieve Dow of their
liability along the river. The best way for Dow avoid responsibility is
to prevent individual properties from being tested and this legislation
accomplishes does just that. HB 4617 will piecemeal properties being
tested. By design this legislation will impede any large scale cleanup
efforts in Michigan's largest watershed. How shameful ...
... The provisions for the
“facility” have been in Dow’s license since the first public hearing
in 2002 with no objection from the sponsors of HB 4617. It wasn't
until the DEQ began enforcing the license and the law, that these
legislators became engaged. Now Moolenaar and Goschka and Kahn,
hiding behind a smokescreen of fairness, have decided to weigh in
on the issue but they have taken up the corner with polluter and
special interest. The heck with children, families and the potential
for restoration of our watershed. Remember that it was Moolenaar who
came to Dow's defense last year and threatened to gut the DEQ budget
and eliminate the division responsible for execution of Dow's
license. All because the DEQ insisted on soil samples. All because
the DEQ was doing its job.
DEQ's Bob McCann is correct,"
You don't put the administration of the law into the hands of the
person who broke it." HB 4617 does just that. ...
Saginaw County Commissioners to debate
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
Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. The image on the left is
aftermath of the March 2004 Tittabawassee flood event. Click on the image
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.
..."A subtle change to Michigan Department of Environmental
Quality policy more clearly defines the term and applies it only to those
properties -- 103 in Midland and about 400 in the Tittabawassee River floodplain
-- that have been deemed "Priority 1" areas and are undergoing interim
remediation activities." ..."Those
that already are identified as contaminated and are a part of cleanup plans are
included. For others, testing must have confirmed contamination or enough data
must exist to make a reasonable inference about the extent of contamination"..."The
DEQ argued at House hearings on Moolenaar's bill that the proposal could slow
the pace and increase the cost of cleanup statewide, and could limit
possibilities of state and local financial incentives for redevelopment of
brownfield sites. It also could release polluters from cleanup duties and
expense, shifting the responsibility to property owners -- qualification as a
facility is a prerequisite for landowners to receive relief"..."The DEQ
plans to introduce the clarification to communities at upcoming town hall-style
meetings tentatively scheduled for Aug. 17, 24 and 27. Locations have not been
confirmed." Click here
for the actual language of the new Part 201 rules.
TRW note: the MDN article infers that a property owner must be classified as
a 'facility' before they must disclose suspected dioxin contamination.
This is not true, Michigan Real-Estate Seller disclosure requires a seller to
disclose even if they only suspect the property may be contaminated.
Click here for the Michigan Seller
Disclosure form and check out item 10: "Environmental Problems: 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?"
State & Federal agencies confirm bodies, homes, & properties contaminated
7/08/05 The ATSDR and MDCH released their ATSDR & MDCH Health
Consultation: Exposure Investigation Report: A Pilot Exposure Investigation:
Dioxin Exposure in Adults Living in the Tittabawassee River Flood Plain, Saginaw
County, Michigan EPA FACILITY ID: MID980994354
The report was made public on July 13, 2005, the SAME day the
Court denied floodplain residents the ability to make Dow pay for a
trust fund to assist in monitoring their health due to the increased risks
of living in Dow dioxin.
Our suspicions are confirmed. The official report states:
Tittabawassee floodplain residents on average have higher blood,
home, and property dioxin levels than background levels found in the
rest of the country.
New data in report includes actual blood levels for 2,3,7,8-TCDD.
This is the most toxic of the Dioxin Like Compounds (DLC).
Participant blood levels of this compound are almost double of those
found in non-contaminated areas.
Three homes have dioxin levels in their indoor dust that are higher than
the states 90 ppt Residential Direct Contact Criteria for soil found OUTSIDE the
Soil samples collected from 15 properties located at least partially
within the flood plain of the Tittabawassee River showed total dioxin
TEQ levels greater than the MDEQ residential criterion of 90 ppt for
DLCs. These findings further confirm earlier results indicating that
elevated DLC levels within the 100-year flood plain downstream of
Midland are widespread.
This report has undergone countless reviews during the 8 months prior to
it's release. Rumor has it Michigan Lt. Governor Cherry had to give
final approval to the language of the report before it was released.
Evidently Cherry is now one our top scientist. Seriously, what did the
scientist say that was edited out by politicians?
Click here to visit our PEI page for the results
of the study.
Michigan House of "Shame"
passes Polluter Free Ride Ticket (bill 4617)
Only 29 Michigan state
representatives voted today against a
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
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.
if the bill should pass in the Senate,
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.
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:
would increase the cost of cleanup for both the state and other parties
The bills would slow progress in cleaning up
The bills would prevent many properties from
being eligible for state and local financial incentives that support
The 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.
The bills would prevent prospective
purchasers and lessees of contaminated property from getting important
information about the contamination through disclosure provisions of Part
“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.
Unless 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
Some 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.
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
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
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
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
· 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
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
would peel the contaminated "facility" label from hundreds of properties
and Stamas to gut Michigan Environmental laws.
On May 27, 2004, a group of Michigan Republican Lawmakers from Midland (Stamas &
Moolenaar) filed 2 bills in the Michigan Legislature to raise the States dioxin
Residential Direct Contact Criteria (RDCC) to over 11 times the
current standard, from 90 ppt to 1000 ppt. In our opinion, this is a attempt to
relieve Dow Chemical of it's clean up responsibilities under it's current operating
license. These individuals have shown their true colors: their allegiance to
Dow Chemical company overrides their concern for public safety in City of Midland,
Tittabawassee River flood plain, the State of Michigan, and the United States of
America. 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.
Public officials and their connections to Dow, Detroit Free Press 9/29/04
Many 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" ...
Update June 2004: Dow and it's hired Michigan State Republican
legislators are hijacking the States regulatory system.
Sub-Committee Votes to Slash DEQ Budget & Eliminate Entire Programs
The House Appropriations Subcommittee
on Natural Resources and Environment voted this morning to SLASH the DEQ budget in many
ways, including eliminating the Hazardous Waste Division entirely. This is a primarily
vindictive, ostrich-like response to the DEQ's efforts to protect the citizens of Michigan
who live along the Tittabawassee River from dioxin contamination caused by Dow
Chemical. The legislators who introduced and support this measure seem to be far more
concerned about protecting Dow than they are about protecting the people of Michigan.
Subcommittee on Appropriations has recommended to:
Eliminate the entire Hazardous Waste
Program, which totals about $6 million. They want to send the Hazardous Waste clean-up
program back to the feds. Eliminating the Hazardous Waste program from the DEQ would end
up costing businesses MORE money - since theyd have to apply to the EPA office in
Chicago to obtain permits. In addition, the majority of the money used to pay for this
program comes from a Federal grant money the State of Michigan would not save,
would have to give back to the Feds should the DEQs hazardous waste program shut
Cut directors salary 15%
Cut general fund appropriations to
the DEQ an additional 15% across the board
Implement a workforce reduction plan
by an additional 8% = 120 positions
Who to Contact:
Please call or email your
House Representativeas soon as possible
and tell them to restore
full funding to the DEQ. The DEQ is our state agency whose job it is to protect Michigan
citizens and environment. The proposed cuts make NO sense and are a transparent attempt to
get Dow Chemical off the hook for the pollution theyve caused in Michigan.
Here is a link to the House of
Representatives web site so you can easily find your Reps contact info:
The House appropriation subcommittee
has made the recommendation to the full committee this morning (Thursday). The full
committee is meeting this afternoon. If the full committee concurs with this ridiculous
proposal, it could reach the House floor by next week. We MUST make contact with as many
House Reps as possible within the next few days! Keep in mind that YOU CAN call over the
weekend and in the evening simply leave your message on the legislators voice
Gayle Miller Conservation Program Coordinator Sierra Club-Mackinac Chapter 109 E. Grand River Ave. Lansing, MI 48906 (517) 484-2372 - ph (517) 484-3108 - fax
Following is additional information
posted to EnviroMich, a state-wide listserv on environmental issues in Michigan:
Senator Stamas and Representative Moolenaar announced plans to introduce legislation to
weaken the state's residential dioxin cleanup standard to 1,000 ppt. They are basing
that number on outdated science that doesn't reflect our current understanding of dioxin's
toxicity. This is an outrageous attempt to relieve Dow of liability for their
dioxin contamination in mid-Michigan, and it threatens the health of all Michigan
residents and the health of the Great Lakes in the bargain.
today, the friends of the chemical industry are attempting to behead the DEQ by slashing
the DEQ's budget. This latest gambit is a threat to all of our efforts to protect
public health and the great resources of our state. This latest effort is in
retaliation for the DEQ DOING THEIR JOB AND FOLLOWING THE LAW OF THE STATE.
If chemical corporations can cut the DEQ budget simply because they are abiding by the
environmental laws in the state, all of our environmental programs are at risk. WE
URGE ALL MICHIGAN CITIZENS TO TAKE ACTION - CALL YOUR STATE REPRESENTATIVE AND
TELL THEM TO SUPPORT THE DEQ IN FOLLOWING THE LAW OF THE STATE!!!!!
them that political maneuvering
on behalf of a single large company is not acceptable. The priority in our state
must be science-based public health protections.
surprisingly, these legislators are big recipients of campaign contributions from the
chemical industry. A contaminated Great Lakes basin and weak environmental laws are
not the way to revive Michigan's economy or attract new businesses. Just the
opposite in fact.