Saturday, March 19, 2005

The First MDEQ & Dow Meeting for invited guests...

... driving into the Horizons parking lot, the first thing we saw was a ragtag group holding up signs. Prominently in front of this group was Ms. Rhetoric looking angry as usual.
  • As we seated ourselves, it became obvious who the environmentalists were. They were the ones whose names were spelled correctly.
  • During the meeting, one of the many complaints vented by invited environmentalists was 'the news media was not allowed to attend the meeting' indicating a lack of 'transparency.' At least five members of the local news media were there.

    WJRT ABC News was there. I saw the truck. I briefly saw Matt Franklin and his crew but was worried about finding the correct meeting room and I didn't acknowledge him at that time. Sorry Matt, I didn't know your cameras would not be allowed inside.

    Rob from WSGW News Radio 790 was in the audience. Jeremiah, representing The Saginaw News, was there. Read his article: Some confused over DEQ's approach and Kathy Marchlewski, representing Midland Daily News provided the most accurate account citing both sides of the issue in her article: Dow, DEQ talk dioxin: Town hall meeting...

    I guess the real enviro-complaint had to do with a lack of cameras! The enviros do their best work with cameras and microphones where they can spread their version of 'truth' and sometimes just plain lies through the television media which is most likely to be seen by our vulnerable public. How many times have you heard, 'I seen it on TV so it must be true!'
  • Yes, all of the invited guests were allowed to speak. The moderator called upon quieter members to get their viewpoints but it was difficult for even the most vocal (that would be me) to be heard against the negativity of Lone Tree's members, representatives, and supporters.
  • It became really obvious Lone Tree and friends do NOT want this problem to be resolved. They want to expand it. One of their supporters indicated he thinks we should spend more time on the definition of a stakeholder. For starters, he would like that term to include everybody living in the Saginaw Bay watershed, which would include everybody along all the tributaries leading to and including the Saginaw Bay. Of course, if we gave them that, they would want to expand the definition to include Lake Huron!

    The real stakeholders in this current issue... the issue being addressed jointly by Dow Chemical and Michigan Deptartment of Environmental Quality..... are those of us whose property is already called a 'facility' and those in Midland, whose property is currently threatened. We need this thing to be resolved now. We do not need to be dragged into other alleged watershed problems around Michigan.

    I'm not sure what their ultimate goal is but this I know for sure. The environmental extremists do not care about the Michigan economy. They do not care about the residents. They do not care about any of us who enjoy and appreciate our beautiful water wonderland. They would love to have our backyards (now known as 'facilities') become swamps. Do you think they care if you and I die from mosquito-borne encephalitis? Hah! Just wait until our local mosquito control program begins the new season.
  • I have gained a new respect for Director of MDEQ Steve Chester as I observed the interaction between him and the people who thought they had an inside track on 'advising' him and his employees. When Lone Tree became involved in the CAP (Community Advisory Panel), they honestly thought it was their chance to advise MDEQ.

    Director Chester and Dow's Larry Washington really got things moving when they turned our local dioxin problem over to Jim Sygo and Susan Carrington without interference from the so-called advisory panel. Without the appointed representatives in the dioxin CAP continually slowing down the process with their continual changes and expansions of involvement, Dow/MDEQ are finally producing results. (Who appointed those people to the CAP, anyway?)

    As a 'priority one' resident stakeholder in this dioxin sandwich (MDEQ & Dow are the bread, residents in the middle), I am relieved to know Dow Chemical will remediate any dioxin-related problem areas in my home or yard. Yes, my property is priority one and I am not suing anybody. I am not worried about dioxin killing me or my family who lived here throughout their entire childhoods. I am only sick and tired of the enviromentalists getting me and my neighbors tangled up in this mess.
I almost forgot. The purpose of this meeting was to give ideas to MDEQ and Dow on what we the resident stakeholders feel is the best way to get word out to the community. I think it was generally agreed that smaller groups (without cameras, etc.) are good... with different times of day to accommodate the various time schedules of residents. Of course, the environmentalists would have the cameras included, but we feel, as Director Chester does, that many people are more apt to participate if they know they remain anonymous.

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