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E-M:/ Dioxin cover-up
- Subject: E-M:/ Dioxin cover-up
- From: Gregory Button <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2002 08:07:48 -0500
- Delivered-To: email@example.com
- Delivered-To: firstname.lastname@example.org
- List-Name: Enviro-Mich
- Reply-To: Gregory Button <email@example.com>
Title: Dioxin cover-up
Dempsey (517) 487 9539
or Diane Herbert (989) 832-1694
Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality and the
Department of Community Health Are Attempting to Suppress Vital
Scientific Information about Dioxin Levels in Midland.
(January 22, 2002-Lansing, MI) A Freedom of Information Act
request has uncovered documents that show that Michigan's Department
of Environmental Quality's Director (DEQ), Russ Harding and James
Haveman, Director of the Department of Community Health (MDCH), are
attempting to withhold key draft recommendations made by the federal
Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry (ATSDR). The
ATSDR public health assessment was conducted last year at the request
of environmentalists concerned about the levels of dioxin released by
the Dow Chemical Company plant in Midland, MI.
According to Dave Dempsey, of the Michigan Environmental Council
(MEC), he has also received documents that indicate that Director
Harding has "personally intervened" to override the
recommendations of his own staff scientists as well in order to weaken
the state's dioxin standard.
" Director Harding is seeking to ignore the preponderance of
scientific evidence which is driving the United States Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) to toughen standards to protect the public
from dioxin in order to benefit Dow Chemical Company" says
Dempsey. The Ecology Center's Director of Environmental Health,
Tracey Easthope argues that "Harding's actions on this matter
are a betrayal of the public trust."
The MEC along with the Ecology Center, the Lone Tree Council, and
Environmental Health Watch warn that Harding's Meeting today
(January 22, 2002) with James Haveman, Director of the Department of
Community Health, (DCH) is a further attempt to suppress the
recommendations of the (ATSDR).
The organizations are calling on Harding and Haveman to use today's
meeting to demonstrate a new commitment to the people of Midland and
the state by responding to the recommendations of DEQ staff
scientists, and to the weight of scientific evidence. They are asking
them to tighten dioxin standards in accordance with scientific
Release the staff recommendations made in the ATSDR assessments of
health risks in Midland.
Act on the recommendations in accordance with the duty of public
Cease to interfere with efforts to sample areas downstream of the Dow
Midland facility to determine dioxin levels.
Refrain from weakening dioxin cleanup standards to benefit a
corporation rather than the public that you are sworn to protect.
Directors Harding and Haveman are being urged to take these actions in
order to help restore public confidence in their agencies.
The Michigan Environmental Council, based in Lansing, is a statewide
coalition of over 50 environmental, public health, and faith-based
organizations working together to protect the environment. Based in
Ann Arbor, the Ecology Center is a regional, environmental
organization which works for clean air, safe water and environmental
justice. The Lone Tree Council of Bay City works for the environmental
quality of the Saginaw Bay watershed. Environmental Health Watch is a
community-based group in Midland, MI.
Gregory Button, Ph.D.
The Ecology Center
117 N. Division
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
(734) 761-3186 x 113
(734) 663-2414 (fax)