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Re: E-M:/ FW: State, Dow commit to expedite resolution of dioxin situation

I much appreciate Rita Jack's comments and questions.  Below are part of Lone Tree Council's submitted  March 14th to DEQ on the Dow RIWP. This process cannot move any slower...............


To view all of our comments ( Attachment 3) go to the DEQ web site http://www.deq.state.mi.us/documents/deq-whm-hw-detailed-dow-RIWPS-NOD-w-attachments.pdf


Michelle Hurd Riddick

Lone Tree Council




March 14, 2006


George Bruchmann, Chief

Waste and Hazardous Materials Division

Michigan Department of Environmental Quality

Constitution Hall

525 West Allegan Street

Lansing, MI  48933-1502


Dear Mr. Bruchmann,


On behalf of the Lone Tree Council (LTC) please find attached our comments on Dow’s December, 2005,  RIWP for Midland, The Tittabawassee River, Dow Chemical’s proposed Human Health Risk Assessment as well as Dow Chemical’s proposed Screening Level Ecological Risk Assessment (SLERA) and the Baseline Ecological Risk Assessment (BERA).


LTC appreciates the opportunity to comment and we look forward to DEQ and EPA ensuring vast improvements in Dow’s Work Plans for the protection of public health and natural resources.


Lone Tree Council would also like to suggest MDEQ take a less “voluntary” approach to corrective action with Dow Chemical. The primary reasons being to expedite this issue and to stop wasting valuable tax dollars in an already strapped DEQ budget and to ensure that MDEQ has the necessary information and data to proceed with cleanup.   It is our position that MDEQ has made a consistent effort to work with Dow Chemical to ensure consistency and compliance with their RCRA license. Unfortunately Dow Chemical does not appear terribly concerned about their legal or statutory obligations to the people of Michigan. Dow Chemical’s energy is directed at public relations, designing their own science and delaying progress on this contamination. This cannot be tolerated because it is getting in the way of MDEQ ensuring it has all the information necessary for remediation and to ensure an equitable NRDA for the public.



In January 2003 we were told that Dow’s license was the mechanism by which this cleanup would be addressed. While Dow, via their RIWP, is attempting to rewrite the rules, science and regulations it begs us asking why this being permitted to take so long if indeed MDEQ has the authority to enforce the license. Not to oversimplify the issue but dioxin concentrations well exceed the RDCC of 90ppt and dioxin is being taken up by every living thing along that floodplain much to the determent of this watershed. We are now well into our third high water event along the Tittabawassee River since the discovery in November 2001. MDEQ needs to act expeditiously and with authority and carry out its’ responsibility to the people of this watershed.


To date, much of the emphasis has been on what Dow is willing to do. This dynamic needs to change. The new emphasis should be on what MDEQ can do with the authority granted by the corrective action license and by statute to protect people, restore habitat, collect data and initiate cleanup.



Lone Tree Council would submit that as much as both MDEQ and Dow attempt to put a “happy face” of mutual respect and cooperation, nothing could be further from the truth. Dow Chemical is working against MDEQ and ultimately against every citizen of the state. We acknowledge that Dow Chemical is a stakeholder but we believe, as is evidenced by their extremely deficient and cunning RIWP, Dow Chemical is not playing by the rules nor are they demonstrating they are respectful of their obligations.


No doubt a great deal of Dow’s resistance to extensive sampling and characterization is due to pending litigation. Dow will likely continue to resist getting it right.  Lone Tree Council strongly encourages MDEQ to take charge of this issue and write the most critical and immediate needs into the RIWP for Dow Chemical.




Terry Miller

Lone Tree Council

Bay City, MI



Michelle Hurd Riddick

Lone Tree Council

Saginaw, MI