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E-M:/ Re: environmental Web sites in Spanish



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Enviro-Mich message from "Michele Anderson" <andersm@pasty.com>
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Dear Mr. Dempsey and enviro-mich subscribers,
Do any of you know of good Web sites in Spanish with readings on
environmental problems in Spanish speaking countries? I found a few, but
would welcome your suggestions. This is for a second-year college level
Spanish class at Michigan Tech (articles of interest to future engineers
would be welcome). Thanks,
Michele Anderson
andersm@pasty.com or mieander@mtu.edu
----- Original Message -----
From: "Dave Dempsey" <davemec@voyager.net>
To: <enviro-mich@great-lakes.net>
Sent: Thursday, January 31, 2002 9:10 AM
Subject: E-M:/ dioxin coverup


> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Enviro-Mich message from "Dave Dempsey" <davemec@voyager.net>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
>
> FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE              CONTACT: Dave Dempsey  (517) 487-9539
> JANUARY 31, 2002                   Michelle Hurd-Riddick (989)799-3313
>
>
> Citizens ask for Federal Probe into Major
> Dioxin Cover-up in Michigan
>
> Dioxin Levels 80 Times Above State Standards Found in Floodplain at
> Confluence of Tittabawasee and Saginaw Rivers
>
> DEQ Director Blocks Further Testing, and Seeks Suppression of Health
> Assessment Calling for Aggressive Action
>
> Saginaw -- Documents obtained by environmental groups show the state has
> found dioxin levels 80 times state cleanup standards near parks and
> residential areas in a floodplain south of the City of Saginaw, but state
> DEQ Director Russell Harding has blocked further testing and is
suppressing
> a state health assessment that the groups believe calls for aggressive
state
> action to deal with the threat.
>
> Harding has also overridden DEQ staff and ordered them to weaken the
state's
> cleanup standard for dioxins in new rules the agency is promulgating. In a
> document obtained by the environmental groups, a DEQ staffer said the
> Harding decision did not "reflect the best available information" and
> another staffer said the level should be toughened, not weakened, based on
> emerging science.
>
> The Michigan Environmental Council, Environmental Health Watch, Lone Tree
> Council and the Ecology Center called Harding's behavior "outrageous" and
> called for him to "get out of the way" and permit public servants to do
> their job to protect public health and the environment. The groups wrote
key
> members of Congress and the assistant administrator of a federal toxic
> substances agency demanding a probe of Harding's actions. The state's
> failure to fully inform the public so that citizens can take action to
> protect their own health is "unconscionable," said the groups.
>
> "The evidence points to Harding repeatedly delaying staff efforts to
> discover the extent of the dioxin problem," said Midland resident Diane
> Hebert, director of Environmental Health Watch.  "In my mind that is a
> cover-up."
>
> Levels of dioxin ranged from 39 to more than 7200 parts per trillion in
the
> flood plain near Saginaw. The state's current residential cleanup standard
> is 90 parts per trillion.  The levels found in some areas of the flood
plain
> exceed a federal action standard of 1 part per billion set by the Agency
for
> Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). By comparison, the
> Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced in October 2001 that it
will
> relocate some residents of Pensacola, Florida whose residential soil
levels
> reached or exceeded 200 parts per trillion. No followup sampling has been
> done or cleanup plan developed in residential areas of Midland where
dioxin
> levels exceed state cleanup standards, despite repeated requests for this
> from environmental groups.
>
>  Specifically, the groups are now calling for:
>
>  Immediate actions to protect children from being exposed to dioxin in
> parks and residential areas along the Tittabawassee River to its
confluence
> with the Saginaw River.
>  Release of a public health assessment of the risks posed by
contamination
> in Midland and the Tittabawassee River flood plain.
>  Immediate State authorization for a more detailed investigation into the
> extent of dioxin/furan contamination in the floodplain of the
Tittabawassee
> River, and determination as to the source or sources.
>  State authorization for development of a cleanup plan.
>  A federal and Congressional investigation into the failure of the State
> Department of Environmental Quality, Department of Agriculture, and
> Department of Community Health to inform local agencies, and to address a
> major public health risk in a timely manner.
>
> "It is simply unconscionable that the state has sat on these results,"
said
> Lone Tree Council member Michelle Hurd-Riddick  "Children could have
already
> been harmed by their inaction."
>
> Soil levels in Midland in public parks and schools ranged from .01ppb to
> .210 ppb TEQ (10 to 210 ppt) and averaged 0.05 ppb TEQ.
>
> -30-
>
>
>                      Dioxin Facts Uncovered by Environmental Groups
>
> The new revelations stem from DEQ documents unearthed through a Freedom of
> Information Act request.  Direct quotes from the documents:
>
> High Dioxin Levels
>
> August, 2001 GreenPoint-Tittabawassee River Dioxin Study Area Phase I
> Sampling Study
> Report, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
>
>  "Soil samples collected by the General Motors Corporation (GM) as part of
a
> wetland mitigation project identified elevated levels of dioxin and
> dibenzofuran compounds (hereinafter referred to as "dioxin") in a farm
field
> located in the Tittabawasee River floodplain near its confluence with the
> Saginaw River.  The samples, collected during April of 2000, identified
> concentrations of dioxin as high as 2,199 parts per trillion (ppt) toxic
> equivalence factor units (TEF). The dioxin concentrations were almost
> twenty-five (25) times  the residential direct contact criteria of 90 ppt
> established under the provisions of Part 201 [of NREPA]. Concern over the
> public health and environmental implications of the GM sample results
> prompted the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Environmental
> Response Division to develop and implement a soil sampling an assessment
> program in the Tittawbawasee River flood plain. During the period from
> December 2000 to June 2001 the ERD collected soil samples from five
> locations in the Tittabawasee River floodplain between Center Road in
> Saginaw Township, Saginaw County, and the Saginaw River confluence. A
total
> of thirty-four samples were collected at depths ranging from to twelve
> (12)inches below the surface. Analytical results identified concentrations
> ranging from 39 to 7,261 ppt. Only five of the thirty-four samples
contained
> TEF concentrations less than the Part 201 residential direct  contact
> criteria of 90 ppt TEF (RDCC)."
>
> "Dioxin concentrations are consistently found above the Part 201 RDCC, and
> have  been identified as high as eighty (80) times the RDCC.  Upstream of
> the Phase I sample area, active human use of the floodplain increases.
> Numerous residential properties are located within the floodplain, the
> majority  located within the Shields area and Saginaw Township. Some
> agriculture operations are also located within the floodplain, as are some
> public parklands."
>
>
> Blocking Further Testing in the Area
>
> Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Staff memo dated November 9,
> 2001
>
> "The deputies of the three departments all agreed we should proceed with
> Phase II.  However, Art said he needed to touch base with the director and
> get back with me later to give me the go-ahead.  Art called later and said
> Russ Harding did not want to proceed. Art said Russ wanted to "review the
> documentation" some more.  I will be sending Art a GroupWise note asking
him
> to clarify when we might get a final answer from Russ.
>
> Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Staff communication dated
> November 14, 2001
>
> "Well it is almost time for Thanksgiving turkey which means it is getting
> late in the season. We are still hoping for approval before freeze up.
Any
> news from the Director yet?"
>
> "Harding apparently does not want us to proceed.  I am trying to influence
> that attitude."
>
> Michigan Department of Community Health Staff memorandum dated November
27,
> 2001:
>
> "Yes, we were aware...that Director Harding has not OKed the additional
> sampling in the T.    River  flood plain."
>
> Weakening Dioxin Standards
>
>  Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Staff Memo dated November
28,
> 2001:
>
>  "Just wanted to let you know that Director Harding made the decision
> yesterday to place in the 201 Rules the dioxin criteria that reflect the
> revised generic exposure  assumptions (150 ppt for residential and 740 ppt
> for industrial) - he felt it was most reasonable to calculate the criteria
> in the same manner as all other criteria are calculated. Since dioxin is
NOT
> like all  other hazardous substances in that the toxicity data do not
> reflect the best available information, I think we should reconvene the
TSG
> subcommittee, dust off and get ready to finalize the dioxin tox assessment
> so that we can be ready to generate revised criteria."
>
> Staff E-mail dated November 20, 2001:
>
> "THE MORE I THINK ABOUT IT THE  MORE UNCOMFORTABLE I GET. ALTHOUGH I AGREE
> IN PRINCIPLE THAT THE CRITERIA FOR ALL HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES SHOULD
> INCORPORATE THE SAME GENERIC EXPOSURE ASSUMPTIONS, DIOXIN IS SO UNIQUE AND
> OF SUCH SIGNIFICANT PUBLIC HEALTH CONCERN THAT MAKING IT AN EXCEPTION IS
> REASONABLE. MORE IMPORTANTLY, KNOWING THE CRITERIA WILL ULTIMATELY
DECREASE
> BASED ON AN UPDATED TOXICITY ASSESSMENT AND BEING ABLE TO MAKE ALL THE
> REVISIONS AT THE SAME TIME, MAKES A VERY STRONG CASE TO MAINTAIN THE
CURRENT
> CRITERIA."
>
>  "INCORPORATING THE REVISED GENERIC EXPOSURE ASSUMPTIONS WITHOUT REVISING
> THE TOXICITY ENDPOINTS WILL RESULT IN CRITERIA THAT ARE NOT PROTECTIVE OF
> PUBLIC HEALTH AND ARE NOT BASED ON THE "BEST AVAILABLE INFORMATION."
>
>
>
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