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Re: E-M:/ BONIOR TO EPA: FINISH DIOXIN REPORT



Great Discussion. 
 
I'm not willing to let a factually irrelevant (albeit politically relevant) mistake on a press release destroy my support for a person who has demonstrated DECADES of commitment to the environment through support of sound Federal legislation addressing complex issues.  I'm also not willing to accept that Rep. Bonior has a "total lack of understanding" of the issue of dioxin.  That's a big leap to make based upon a single mistake on a press release.  It is not as if Rep. Bonior said dioxin isn't toxic. 
 
Whether or not dioxin was used to kill bugs (it wasn't) is beside the point. Rep. Bonior's efforts to address issues of environmental toxicology through the years, including research, is still enough concrete evidence that he can produce when it comes to the environment.  I still haven't seem Ms. Granholm's efforts bear fruit on the environment.
 
Regards,

David J. Zaber
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, June 18, 2002 3:26 PM
Subject: RE: E-M:/ BONIOR TO EPA: FINISH DIOXIN REPORT

I would have to agree.  It doesn't do the environmental community much good to have a Governor that just talks the talk ....  Having spent years working with Theo Colborn at WWF, Rick Hind at Greenpeace, and others at NRDC, NWF and ED on endocrine disrupters and associated issues (including but not limited to dioxins) , I was really taken aback at Bonior's statement and felt it that it was a big red flag for me.  It really highlights and illustrates Bonior's total lack of understanding of the issue.  Further, it sends across an arrogant message that either they don't know what they are talking about and don't care as long as they can get a press release out or they think the public won't notice.  Either way, its not very good.  At least Granholm has shown a level and depth of understanding about the issues as evidenced both by her Reponses at the Michigan League of Conservation Voters Gubernatorial Forum and also in the Environmental platform released the other day.  I just moved to Michigan after many years in Washington DC working in the environmental arena in a myriad of capacities.   In addition to my work in the NGO community, I have been fortunate enough to work for people like Don Barry (former Asst. Sec. and now COO at the Wilderness Society) and Sec. Bruce Babbitt, who had an incredible grasp of the issues (regardless of whether you agree with their position on those issues) and I have to say that so far, Granholm's intelligence, level of understanding and ability to grasp issues has impressed me as much as anyone.
 
 

Regards,
Karen Kovacs Treviņo
Director, Environmental Programs
ASG Renaissance
313-336-3770/#413
313-336-3094 fax
ktrevino@asgren.com
www.asgren.com

-----Original Message-----
From: Thomas Rohrer [mailto:ROHRERT@michigan.gov]
Sent: Tuesday, June 18, 2002 3:08 PM
To: enviro-mich@great-lakes.net; Bob.Allison@mail.house.gov
Subject: Re: E-M:/ BONIOR TO EPA: FINISH DIOXIN REPORT

Re: the attached posting from Enviro-Mich (below).........While I think that everyone involved in the dioxin problem would agree that having the final risk assessment released is long overdue, this press release makes the campaign look pretty silly.
 
In particular I would call attention to the statement "...We already know dioxin is used to kill bugs as a pesticide." <sic> attributed to Representative Bonior.  Dioxins and dibenzofurans were never used as insecticides.  Dioxins and Dibenzofurans are known to be trace contaminants in some herbicides (specifically the Cholorphenoxy compounds like 2,4,5-T and 2,4-D) and are trace contaminants in chlorophenol production.  But having a quote like the one above attributed to Mr. Bonior makes it look like there is a serious lack of scientific expertise in his camp.  Is it too late for the Sierra Club to withdraw their endorsement?  :-)    ...................TOM
 

>>> "Allison, Bob" <Bob.Allison@mail.house.gov> 06/17/02 04:03PM >>>

BONIOR TO EPA: FINISH DIOXIN REPORT

Congressman says delay in health risk assessment threatens families

June 17, 2002                                                Contact: Bob Allison, (586) 469-3232

        U.S. Rep. David Bonior said it is time for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to finish and release a long-delayed report on the health effects of dioxin and begin developing policies that will protect the public's health.

        In a letter this month to EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman, Bonior and other lawmakers expressed concern about the more than 10 year lag in releasing the report.

        "The public release of the dioxin assessment is long overdue," Bonior said. "It is time to finish it and let it see the light of day.  We already know dioxin is used to kill bugs as a pesticide.  It doesn't take a decade to figure out that we need tough, aggressive measures to crack down on it."

        Dioxin is a group of highly toxic chemicals that are formed primarily as an industrial waste byproduct.  Dioxin is known to cause numerous non-cancer health problems, including reproductive, immunological and developmental effects. 

        Dioxin contamination in the Tittabawassee floodplain in the Midland and Saginaw area has raised serious health risk concerns.   TCDD, the compound found in Agent Orange and at Love Canal, New York, is one of the toxic members of the dioxin family.

        The EPA has been studying the sources and health effects of dioxin for nearly 20 years, completing its first health assessment of dioxin and related chemical compounds in 1985.  However, facing pressure to review its findings, which showed considerable risks to human health, EPA announced it would conduct a reassessment of the health effects of dioxin. 

        The dioxin reassessment has been underway since 1991.  A full year ago, the EPA's Science Advisory Board recommended the agency complete and release the report by the end of the summer of 2001.  Yet at this time, it still has not been finished and released.