Below is the link to the AP story.
Calling off these talks as EPA Administrator Jackson has done does not nor should not slow down investigations, interim response activities or cleanup. There is a viable RCRA corrective action on this river system which Dow Chemical signed and agreed to in 2003. Dow is legally bound by this license and it is the job of the DEQ to enforce it. The talks Administrator Jackson halted was discussion on entering the Superfund Alternative Site process which Dow Chemical asked the Bush EPA for--- a process that would allow them to move negotiations about their contamination behind closed doors.
The Dow spokeswoman in the AP story states:
We absolutely do not see this as a setback," she said. "What we are focused on is finding a definitive resolution of the issue."
This will be the third time Dow has looked for a definitive resolution. Consent order behind closed door in 2002, Framework Agreement behind closed doors in 2005 and now an SAS process in 2009 again behind closed doors.
As the AP story states Dow submitted a " good faith offer" to EPA on February 15th. An offer never intended to be disclosed to the public--thus making our point. There is no transparency. This is our watershed, our water resource. Many people are personally impacted by Dow's dioxin on their property and in their bloodstream. It is just too much to expect that plans submitted by Dow and contemplated by the agencies be done outside the view of the public.
We appreciate Administrator Jackson's commitment to transparency.
Michelle Hurd Riddick
Lone Tree Council
EPA freezes talks with Dow on Mich. river cleanup
"My goal is to ensure an expeditious and robust cleanup, and I will take steps to ensure that the dioxin contamination is addressed in a manner that is protective of human health and the environment — and that the process is open and transparent," Jackson wrote.