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E-M:/ Chemical Policy Alert Story on Dioxin/Saginaw/Midland/Dow

Title: Chemical Policy Alert Story on Dioxin/Saginaw/Midland/
An important story ran in Chemical Policy Alert on the
emerging serious concerns around dioxin contamination in
the Midland, Saginaw area.  This looks like a big issue
for the state.
Is it a scandal?
One of the definitions of scandal is an action that offends
propriety or established moral conceptions; another is
something that causes a loss of faith.

The evidence suggests that some decisionmakers knew
that contamination in some areas had the potential to be high enough
to pose a serious and immediate threat, but instead of
acting and learning more, or alerting those who
might be at risk, there was delay.


(small excerpt from the story)

From Chemical Policy Alert:
Draft Toxicity Study Urges Widespread Testing Of Dioxin That May Be Linked To Dow Midland Plant

 Date: February 5, 2002 -

A draft report sponsored by federal toxicologists calls for widespread testing of possible dioxin contamination caused by Dow Chemical that may have spread well beyond the company's Midland, MI facility. The draft recommendations are good news for environmentalists, who have accused state officials of delaying soil sampling for the contaminant and attempting to relax the state's cleanup standards.

Local activists from the Michigan Environmental Council, the Ecology Center and other groups petitioned the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) in May 2001 to conduct a study of dioxin contamination at the plant that adjoins the Dow corporate headquarters in Midland. As part of the study, ATSDR asked the Michigan Department of Community Health to assess contamination that may have spread well beyond the city of Midland due to a series of floods in the area.

        and later in the story, an apparent change in the state's approach...

Meanwhile, the environmental groups are also objecting to plans within the MDEQ to issue a proposed rule that would set uniform cleanup standards for a variety of substances, which would effectively involve relaxing the state dioxin standard for residential soil from 90 to 150 ppt. However, Harding says that the department will not alter the dioxin standard until EPA releases its long-awaited scientific reassessment on dioxin, which is expected in late spring or early summer.