Homeowners Fairness Act moving through Senate
Midland Daily News - Kathie Marchlewski
If the bill makes it through the entire Senate, it would amend Part 201 of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, which designates properties having hazardous substances as "facilities."
"This is an accountability measure," State Rep. John Moolenaar said. In response to local fears of casting a negative stigma on mid-Michigan based on dioxin contamination,....................
Everyone is accountable except Dow Chemical.
This is nothing but designer legislation for Dow Chemical and the City of Midland. The stigma is caused by the dioxin not the facility.
The "facility " is triggered by the presence of high levels of dioxin. The " property rights" issue being touted by Moolenaar and Goschka is a smoke screen. The real intention is to rewrite Part 201 which governs Dow Chemical's corrective action license. The properties listed as a facility are subject to remedial investigation and clean up by law. Without the "facility" no response may be required.
Moolenaar and Goschka's zeal to get this done by the first of the year may have everything to do with Dow's requirements to submit Remedial Work Plans for the Tittabawassee River and Midland by Dec. 31st. HB 4617 is intended to limit the authority and ability of DEQ to enforce Dow's license and pursue one of the worst dioxin contaminations in the Midwest. Is is once again an attempt to relieve Dow of their liability along the river. The best way for Dow to limit their obligations is to prevent individual properties from being tested. HB 4617 will piecemeal properties being tested. By design this legislation will impede any large scale cleanup efforts in Michigan's largest watershed.
HB 4617 doesn't take away any stigma. It does nothing to restore properties or make them whole again. It does nothing to address the economic impediments associated with poisoned watersheds. A young physician, anxious to move away from the contamination with his children, did not voice concern about the facility he voiced concern about his kids exposure to dioxin. No doubt the same was true for the Dow Chemical transplant to the area, who contacted the DEQ for assistance in settling in a community not on the Tittabawassee River.
The provisions for the “facility” have been in Dow’s license since the first public hearing in 2002 with no objection from the sponsors of HB 4617. It wasn't until the DEQ began enforcing the license and the law, that these legislators became activist. Now Moolenaar and Goschka, hiding behind a smokescreen of fairness, have decided to weigh in on the issue but they have taken up the corner with polluter and special interest. The hell with children, families and the potential for restoration of our watershed. Remember that it was Moolenaar who came to Dow's defense last year and threatened to gut the DEQ budget and eliminate the Hazardous waste division responsible for execution of Dow's license.
Bob McCann is correct,"You don't put the administration of the law into the hands of the person who broke it." Not unless of course you're John Moolenaar or Mike Goschka.
Please call your senator and tell them to oppose HB 4617. More later.
Michelle Hurd Riddick
Lone Tree Council