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E-M:/ Groups Criticize Dow-Granholm Dioxin Deal

Enviro-Mich message from "Rita Jack" <rita.jack@sierraclub.org>


*Monday, January 24, 2005*

More information:
Michelle Hurd Riddick Lone Tree Council 989-799-3313
James Clift Michigan Environmental Council 517- 256-0553

Groups Criticize Dow-Granholm Dioxin Deal

Leading citizens and environmental groups today sharply criticized an 
agreement between Dow Chemical Company and the Granholm Administration, 
saying it fails to deliver a cleanup of dioxin contamination in the 
Saginaw Bay basin.

"This agreement is a failure," said Michelle Hurd Riddick, a Lone Tree 
Council member who lives in the basin. "It's promoted as 
results-oriented, but the only result will be further delays, more 
studies, and it does little to protect the health of residents.

"Dow's dioxin contamination is a public health threat, economic mess and

Dow needs to start cleanup now. We are terribly disappointed. We know 
Governor Granholm cares about children, dioxin's most vulnerable 
population. And kids are not guinea pigs who should be forced to await 
more years of testing and data collection by Dow Chemical."

"All this agreement promises is a house cleaning, some lawn services and

more studies," said James Clift, Michigan Environmental Council Policy 
Director. "It doesn't even rise to the level of a short-term fix. It's 
no fix at all and, in fact, moves us backward on a public health issue 
of monumental importance. Instead of imposing cleanup deadlines, it 
focuses on Dow's strategy of more study, more public relations, more 

In December, the Lone Tree Council, Michigan Environmental Council, 
Clean Water Action, Ecology Center, CACC and Sierra Club outlined a 
seven-point set of criteria to guide dioxin cleanup by Dow. The groups 
Monday, along with the Tittabawassee River Watch, Citizens Against Toxic

Substances, Environmental Health Watch and PIRGIM, said they would 
continue to pressure Governor Granholm on Dow's dioxin contamination.

Riddick and Clift noted that the Dow-Granholm deal agreement derails 
dioxin cleanup timelines and initiatives previously outlined by the 
Department of Environmental Quality. And the new agreement fails to meet

any of the environmental groups' cleanup guidelines, they said. The 
guidelines are:

1)Will the final goal of any cleanup result in rivers that we can swim 
in, fish in, and know are safe as drinking water sources?
2)Will the public have a strong, direct role in ensuring a comprehensive

cleanup is undertaken?
3)Will the cleanup begin immediately? Are the most contaminated areas 
that affect public health and Michigan's waters being cleaned up first? 
What is the specific cleanup schedule?
4) Will the current lawful cleanup standard of 90 parts per trillion be 
If not, what scientific basis exists for using a standard less
5) Will contaminated soils and sediments be removed using methods, 
procedures and containment sites that ensure dioxin poisons will not be 
reintroduced into our neighborhoods by the next major flood event?
6) Will the dioxin cleanup agreement be legally enforceable? What, if 
any, impact will it have on other existing cleanup agreements between 
Dow and the state? What are the consequences if Dow or the state fail to

comply with the agreement?
7) Will the cleanup agreement protect economic growth, public enjoyment 
and sustainable development along the riverfront into the future? Or is 
it a short-term fix that leaves pollution behind for future generations 
to deal with?

Dioxin, one of the most toxic chemicals know to man, has been discovered

in the Saginaw Bay watershed in numbers as much as 80 to 125 times the 
level deemed safe for Michigan families. Yet families in Saginaw Bay 
watershed living in three counties along the 58 miles of dioxin 
contaminated rivers leading to Lake Huron are once again told by the 
state of Michigan that they must wait for a cleanup. While the 
Granholm-Dow agreement confirms Dow's responsibility for the 
contamination, cleanup implementation will continue to languish for 
years because of Dow's manipulation and political power.

More information:

A copy of the agreement is at:

Tittabawassee River Watch

Ecology Center

Michigan Environmental Council
www.mecprotects.org http://www.mecprotects.org/

Sierra Club

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