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E-M:/ 25 years ago and now

Today's developments in both Chicago and Michigan associated with dioxin contamination and Dow are reminiscent of a time in 1983 when Dow and the U.S. EPA dominated national news for weeks. That was a result of disclosures that the company had been given inside access to internal EPA draft reports on national and regional dioxin contamination and also allowed to doctor them to remove passages the company found objectionable. This was just nine years after Watergate and the resignation of a President in a scandal, and both the public and the culture of Washington rejected the idea of political interference with the execution of the laws. In the end, in part because of the Dow-related disclosures, an EPA administrator and deputies were fired and another was jailed.

There are clear differences in the situations. For one thing, Washington, D.C.'s scandal threshold has risen a great deal in a quarter century. The media have dumbed down the definition of unethical behavior by Presidents and political appointees. Still, it's time for a Congressional investigation and/or a special prosecutor to probe misfeasance and malfeasance of office by the current EPA Administrator and the White House.

Another difference is that Michigan government's hands aren't clean, either, this time.  The illegal dioxin pit facilitated by state and county government poses a potentially huge ecological risk and future liability for taxpayers. But the Granholm Administration and/or state lawmakers still have time to take appropriate steps to protect the public interest.

From: MICHDAVE@aol.com
Date: Thu, 1 May 2008 18:19:01 -0400
Subject: Re: E-M:/ MEC President Lana Pollack, statement on EPA's Mary Gade's resignat...
To: enviro-mich@great-lakes.net

Lone Tree Council would like to echo the accolades for Administrator Gade. This is indeed a sad and sorry day for the Saginaw Bay Watershed and for government all the way around.
Adding insult to injury,  Lieutenant Governor Cherry intervened in the regulatory process and overruled the best professional judgement of MDEQ charged with protecting the resources of the State.  Another blow to science and good public service.
Taking the heat for the LG, MDEQ today announced there would be no slurry wall or groundwater permits for the dioxin pit on the Saginaw River after a series of meetings in which Lieutenant Governor Cherry intervened. Politics trumps science!   This decision was made by the Lieutenant Governor based on a study paid for by Dow Chemical and done by Dow contractor, Environ, who are doing work for Dow on the Saginaw River. 
Doing Dow's bidding knows no political affiliation and apparently no shame.
Michelle Hurd Riddick
Lone Tree Council.

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