Sunday, September 11, 2005

Tittabawassee River Voice Response to MDCH mini-study...

..Len Heinzman is speaking out for us. Here is his letter to Michigan Dept. of Community Health concerning their 'study' of 20 residents in our neighborhood. Remember... this is the study of sites identified by MDEQ as contaminated with dioxin although 34% of those residences turned out to contain less than the State-dictated 90 parts per trillion of dioxin.

September 5, 2005
From: Leonard Heinzman

Dr. Dykema,

As a resident of the Tittabawassee River floodplain and co-founder of the resident group Tittabawasse River Voice I wanted to comment on the MDCH dioxin report. As a resident I am concerned with the viability and image of our area and the damages being done due to the dioxin issue. For some reason the very state organizations that should be looking at the big picture are unable to grasp the true feelings of our community and continue to pander to a very small minority. We do understand the effects that a by-product such as dioxin could have on an environment. We also are not so intellectually challenged that we cannot separate good science from bias reporting and unsound presumptions concerning this issue.

It is only a presumption on the part of the MDCH that human health may be affected by the levels of dioxin in our area. To even publish the results of your little information gathering exercise was a great injustice to the community that I live in. To be sure it was NOT a study. You can draw fact based conclusions from a study. Yours was a very amateurish exercise that pandered to a vocal few. Why a respected state organization would conduct themselves so unprofessionally is heartbreaking to those of us living in our community. At a very minimum your exercise should have been given up for peer review from a credible and scientific process.

There is still an enormous amount of information gathering and true upfront studies to be completed concerning this issue. No matter how many advisories are listed and warnings posted our community will still be here. We do not appreciate your organizations efforts thus far to disparage the area we live in. How is our community along with our state supposed to entice business and families to move into Michigan and the Saginaw Valley when organizations such as the MDCH are so burdened by shortsightedness?

To be sure the MDCH does a necessary job to protect the people and communities of our state. It is also incumbent upon it to use good judgment and make sound decisions when affecting the welfare of the persons it is protecting. Your judgments to date concerning the dioxin issue are not sound. Ours is a very healthy vibrant community that is only living with the footprint of the industrial base of the area. We are no different than any other community in the state that industry built and allowed to prosper.

At this time we feel that the MDCH should make a public statement that completely repudiates any conclusions drawn from your dioxin information gathering exercise. It was not scientific; it was not upfront and may well cause unintended damage to our community.

Thank You

Leonard Heinzman
Tittabawassee River Voice

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