NEW DEQ SAGINAW RIVER DATA IN
The most recent round of dioxin sampling in the Saginaw River reveals levels of over 16,000 ppt of Dow Chemical's dioxin in downtown Saginaw near the Genesee Street bridge area. That's 178 times the state standard.
In 2003 the highest numbers were near the confluence of the Tittabawassee and Saginaw Rivers at Greenpoint ---- over 7,000ppt
In 2004 the highest numbers were down river in the Saginaw near Zilwaukee ----- over 11, 000 ppt
In 2005 between these two point in downtown Saginaw we find the highest numbers to date----over 16,000ppt
The significance of these numbers become more relevant as time passes and cleanup plans are delayed. It is imperative that an extensive characterization of the dioxin contamination of the Tittabawassee River, Saginaw River and Saginaw Bay commence in the very near future. The state needs to initiate and drive the testing process and send the bill to Dow Chemical. We can only hope that sediment concentrations in the Saginaw have not traveled to Saginaw Bay of Lake Huron. We cannot afford to sacrifice this resource to the political winds of the day or to further delay.
By law Dow is required to address the Saginaw River and Bay. However that is not required for another two and half years. Why not initiate the testing now so when the time comes a cleanup plan can be implemented immediately. We can ill afford a flooding event or movement of these sediments into the Bay. Again, DEQ must drive the process not Dow Chemical. Testing has always been a tried and true delay tactic for Dow.
This is a public health and Great Lakes water quality issue of huge proportion. It is a legacy that will out live any of Dow's employment numbers or shareholder's profits.
Michelle Hurd Riddick
Lone Tree Council