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Re: E-M:/ Public comments on the proposed Consent Order with Dow
Title: Re: E-M:/ Public comments on the proposed Consent
I appreciate Mr. Lanigan's review of the documents relevant
to the DEQ's consent order with Dow Chemical. I would
ask him to
take a closer look yet.
The Ecology Center has, in fact, scrupulously fact-checked our
own assertions in our
public statements. We have asked attorneys for their
of the current consent order, and, in their opinion, they concur
with the AG
that elements of the order are illegal. The order's
substance apparently has not
significantly changed from the earlier version. Our press
repeatedly mentions the AG opinion is based on an earlier
of the order.
The Ecology Center hasn't yet posted the Leffler memo. The
provided far more details, and, at the time of the release, we
had a very
poor copy of the Leffler memo that would have been hard to read
on the website.
We will post it when we can, but we
can and have provided copies to any interested party.
Indeed each citizen must come to their own conclusions about the
of the state leadership and Dow Chemical in this matter, and
weigh the veracity of the claims made by each of us, including
who post to enviro-mich.
At 8:22 PM -0500 11/26/11, Jack Lanigan wrote:
I have spent
some time reading during the last few days. I read
the proposed Consent Order between the DEQ and Dow Chemical that
was released recently for public comment. I read (some of)
the excellent assortment of technical and scientific articles
posted by The Ecology Center on their web site as they relate to the
problem in Midland, and I read the collection of relevant
memoranda also posted on the subject.
I found one
part of the whole package troublesome. The press release posted
by The Ecology Center talked about many "illegalities"
in the proposed Consent Order and referred the reader to memoranda
prepared by Mr. Robert Reichel and Mr. Mike Leffler of the Department
of Attorney General. Those memos were addressed to several
honchos at the DEQ including Mr. Art Nash. (I found only Mr.
Reichel's memo; the referenced memo from Mr. Leffler -- while quoted
liberally in the press release -- was not posted by The Ecology
Center.) I also noted that both memos reportedly carried dates
three weeks to over a month earlier than the draft Consent Order
released for comment.
could not find any of the "illegalities" specifically
cited in Mr. Reichel's memo. Mr. Reichel cited several
passages as being particularly troublesome, but I could not
find those passages in the current draft released for
public comment. It is obvious to me that he commented on an
earlier draft that was substantially rewritten before release --
probably as a result of his and Mr. Leffler's
What I find
particularly troublesome myself is the use of one set of comments
to pass judgment on a revised document when one knows they are no
longer linked. This tactic is a manipulation of the press (and
of a trusting public) that I find objectionable. I have seen
this tactic condemned in many messages posted to this august bulletin
board. If we are to condemn someone for using the tactic
while employing it ourselves, we can be no better than the
original perpetrator. (Or does the end, in fact, justify the
everyone who wishes to comment on the proposed agreement to read it
(as I did) and understand it (as I tried to) in order to make an
informed decision. There are some good parts to the order and
some not so good parts, too. You be the judge. If you
intend to prepare comments (and I encourage everyone to do so)
please base them on the facts and on your own interests, but
please do not base them solely on what you read in the
newspapers. The comment period is open through December