Commissioners give dioxin measure a boost
Thursday, October 27, 2005
BARRIE BARBERTHE SAGINAW NEWS
Mid-Michigan state lawmakers gained more clout in trying to pass a controversial state bill dealing with dioxin along the Tittabawassee River floodplain.
In an impassioned debate this week, the Democratic-led Saginaw County Board of Commissioners voted 10-5 to endorse a Republican state-sponsored bill known as the Homeowner Fairness Act that would require the state Department of Environmental Quality to severely restrict its use of the "facility" label.
Snip: County Board of Commissioners Chairman Todd M. Hare, a Saginaw Democrat who joined the majority, said it was a question of protecting property rights from state intrusion.
I encourage all of you to contact your state senators to oppose SB 390 and HB 4617( passed the house) introduced by Senator Mike Goschka of Saginaw and Representative John Moolenaar of Midland. DEQ has come out strongly against these bills. This designer legislation to legislate away Dow's dioxin contamination will also delay clean up of contaminated areas around the state. It will also place the unnecessary financial burden of needless testing on the taxpayers for orphaned sites.
Dow's corrective action license is subject to Part 201. It is the presence of high levels of dioxin which trigger the "facility" label which HB 4617 and SB 390 would essentially eliminate. These elected officials choose to ignore the cause of the "facility" and now four years into the contamination they want to rewrite the law. Acknowledging the real problem would require them taking a position in support of the people and the watershed. Instead they support the Chamber of Commerce, HBA and City of Midland/ Dow Chemical.
As for the Chairman's comment about protecting property rights from state intrusion? A red herring. A great sound bite. The very same county board had no problem with intruding when they threatened imminent domain on private property owners to site the dioxin slurry pit (DMDF) for the Saginaw River navigational dredge. None of the commissioners who supported these bills have been involved in this dioxin issue other than to ensure that Dow Chemical got to put their name on the county owned Civic Center.
The Saginaw County Board of Commissioners hit an all time low.
SB 390 further advances the impairment of our great waters and natural resources. Please write your senator and oppose this legislation.
Michelle Hurd Riddick
Lone Tree Council