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E-M:/ dow chemical water permit

Enviro-Mich message from mec@sojourn.com (dave dempsey)

JUNE 26, 1997
Contact:        Michigan Environmental Council 517-487-9539
                         Ecology Center 313-663-2400
                         Lone Tree Council 517-487-9539
                         PIRGIM 313-662-6597

Internal Documents Reveal Serious Violations at Dow

Internal Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) documents came to light
today detailing numerous and serious violations of law by the Dow Chemical
Company facility in Midland.  Reacting to the new information, state
environmental organizations said today they will oppose key provisions of
Dow's water discharge permit.

The documents detail violations related to the company's water discharges
of dioxin, hexachlorobenzene, and other persistent, bioaccumulative
poisons.  The documents also detail Dow's improper sampling, incomplete
evaluation of treatment methods, and failure to provide access to the DEQ
at reasonable times for inspections and sampling.

The Dow Chemical Company is seeking a renewal of its water discharge permit
at a public hearing today.  The Company has failed for more than nine years
to meet the Water Quality Standard-based limits for dioxin in its existing
permit, having been excused by an abatement order issued in 1988.  The
violations enumerated in the documents prompted the DEQ to conclude
internally that "Dow is not in compliance with the premise, and foundation,
and intent of the FOA [abatement order], and that Dow is not proceeding in
good faith to regain compliance."

The proposed permit being reviewed today would allow Dow to continue
discharging dioxin at 80 times the legal limit.  The proposed permit also
fails to address many of the issues raised in the DEQ documents.

Dioxin is toxic to animals and humans in minute amounts.  Dioxin causes
cancer, and can impair or disrupt development, immune function, and
reproduction.  Fish advisories already exist in the Tittabawassee River and
Lake Huron due to fish containing dangerously high levels of dioxin.

Community and environmental groups are calling on the DEQ to require the
Company to install readily available technology to reduce dioxin
discharges, and to take action to see that the facility is operated in
compliance with all water laws.
- 30 -

Dave Dempsey
Michigan Environmental Council
119 Pere Marquette, Suite 2A
Lansing, MI  48912
(517) 487-9539
(517) 487-9541 (fax)

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