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Re: E-M:/ Relaxed Dioxin Standards

Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>

What is the predicted lifetime cancer risk at 90 and
at 150???

At 10:09 AM 2/27/2002 -0500, you wrote:
>Enviro-Mich message from Terry & Barb Miller <terbar@concentric.net>
>   Please take note of this latest assault on Michigan residents' health:
>                                                           Terry Miller
>                                                           Lone Tree Council
>A rule proposed by the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) late last
>week would weaken Michigan's cleanup standard for dioxin and is a victory
>for the Dow Chemical Company, a defeat for the people of Michigan, and a
>brazen sell-out by DEQ Director Russell Harding.
>Environmental groups today condemned Harding's decision to reject DEQ staff
>advice and propose relaxing Michigan's dioxin cleanup standard for
>residential areas from 90 parts per trillion to 150 parts per trillion.  The
>decision means Michigan citizens will be exposed to more dioxin, an
>extremely toxic compound already found at levels of health concern in humans
>and wildlife in Michigan. Since the Dow Chemical Company is the party that
>requested the relaxed standard, the proposal represents a win for the
>company over DEQ staff, the groups said.
>"It is a case of poison politics over science.  said Dave Dempsey, policy
>advisor  for the Michigan Environmental Council. "While flinging charges of
>politics at everyone but himself, it is the DEQ Director who has injected
>politics into the rulemaking process."
>The new proposal is a reversal for Harding, who two weeks ago told Chemical
>Policy Alert, a Washington publication, that the DEQ would not alter the
>dioxin standard until the U.S. EPA releases its long-awaited scientific
>reassessment on dioxin later this year. That document will likely result in
>dioxin standards that are more protective (NOT LESS) than the current 
>Harding's decision reinforces the need for an independent investigation of
>the influence of Dow on issues related to dioxin and cleanup of Midland, the
>groups said. Memos and correspondence in DEQ files show that Harding and
>Deputy Director Arthur Nash have conferred frequently with Dow about how to
>manage public relations associated with widespread dioxin contamination in
>Midland and elsewhere, a betrayal of the public trust.
>"Nearly doubling the concentration of dioxin that people can be exposed to
>is incomprehensible," said Terry Miller, Chair of the Lone Tree Council.
>"All of the scientific evidence points to the conclusion that we need to
>reduce dioxin exposures, not increase them."
>In a study released in March of 2001, researchers at the University of Texas
>found that through food alone, Americans are already getting 22 times the
>maximum dioxin exposure recommended by the EPA. Among nursing infants, that
>level is 35 to 65 times the recommended dosage.
>"There's more, not less reason today to believe dioxin is a serious hazard
>to the public health," said Tracey Easthope of the Ecology Center.  "While
>at least one form of dioxin is a confirmed carcinogen, an emerging body of
>scientific evidence shows that many dioxin compounds can cause birth
>defects, neurological delays, and chronic ailments."
>Dioxins are a byproduct of industrial processes and are widely dispersed in
>Midland, Dow's headquarters, and downstream along the Tittabawassee River,
>most likely because of the company's past chemical production.
>"With a wave of the wand, Harding is trying to 'declare' some areas clean
>instead of actually removing dioxin," said Diane Hebert, a Midland resident.
>"This could save Dow millions of dollars but cost the people of Michigan
>much more in cleanup and health care costs."
>Memos obtained by environmental groups last month under the Freedom of
>Information Act show DEQ Environmental Response Division scientists opposed
>to relaxing the standard and indicated that Harding and Deputy Director
>Arthur Nash were directly involved in overriding the scientific 
>In a November 21 memo, posted on the Michigan Environmental Council website
>at http://www.mecprotects.org/deqdocs.html, a DEQ staffer said that DEQ
>scientists "appear to be almost certain that what comes out of the final EPA
>dioxin review will result in a direct contact criterion lower than 90.  I
>think a decision to include 160 as the proposed criterion will be roundly
>criticized and potentially become a political issue."
>Harding's proposal is doubly bad because it would not only weaken the dioxin
>standard, but also lock it into a permanent rule, thus making it harder to
>toughen in the future, the groups pointed out. Until now, environmental
>cleanup standards have not been promulgated as rules. Instead, the
>mathematical formula for determining cleanup standards has been promulgated
>in the rule. Under the old system, DEQ could revise cleanup standards as new
>peer-reviewed studies demonstrate health risks.
>The public hearing will be held on March 4, 2002, in two sessions. The first
>session will be held at the Forum Auditorium in the Michigan Library and
>Historical Center, 717 West Allegan, Lansing, Michigan, from 1:00 p.m. to
>3:00 p.m. The second session will be held at the Sheraton Hotel, Aurora
>Room, 925 S. Creyts Road (at I-496), Lansing, Michigan from 7:00 p.m. to
>8:00 p.m.
>Copies of the proposed rules are available for inspection at all
>Environmental Response Division offices. The rules can be viewed and
>downloaded from the Internet through www.michigan.gov (use the search
>function and enter "Proposed Changes to Administrative Rules" including the
>quotation marks). These rules can also be viewed on the Internet through the
>Office of Regulatory Reform website. From www.michigan.gov, use the search
>function and enter Office of Regulatory Reform to reach the Office of
>Regulatory Reform home page, then enter 1995-020 EQ in the ORR search
>function. Copies of the rules may  be obtained by contacting the Lansing
>office at:
>Environmental Response Division
>Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
>for postal mail: P.O. Box 30426
>Lansing, MI 48909-7926
>for express delivery: 525 West Allegan Street
>4th Floor, South Tower
>Lansing, MI 48933
>Phone: 517-373-9838
>Fax: 517-373-2637
>An electronic copy of the rules may be obtained without charge on compact
>disc (Microsoft Word XP format) by contacting the Environmental Response
>Division office above. A paper copy of the rules may be obtained by sending
>a self-addressed stamped envelope (at least 10" x 13"), with $9.00 in
>postage affixed, to the Environmental Response Division.
>All interested persons are invited to attend the hearing and present their
>views. It is requested that all statements made at the hearing be submitted
>in writing for the record.
>Anyone who is unable to attend may submit comments in writing to Ms. Lynelle
>Marolf at the address above, or by e-mail to marolfl@michigan.gov. Comments
>submitted by e-mail must be in Microsoft Word or Rich Text Format (rtf).
>Comments must be received in the Environmental Response Division office by
>5:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, on March 25, 2002.
>ENVIRO-MICH:  Internet List and Forum for Michigan Environmental
>and Conservation Issues and Michigan-based Citizen Action.   Archives at
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