Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Ann Doyle Letter to the Editor, Saginaw News

I just today read the following letter to the editor in Saturday's Saginaw News. I must say Thank You, Ann Doyle for saying what the majority of us living along the Tittabawassee River feel about the dioxin saga!!! It is great to hear our elected representatives speak up for us... once again proving we made a wise choice!

From The Saginaw News
Saturday, February 25, 2008

Adjust dioxin studies, clean-up

Editor, The News:

I chose not to attend the Dec. 7 Department of Environmental Quality/Dow Chemical Co. meeting. I was still disappointed with the Environmental Protection Agency from last fall's meeting when the representative was asked by University of Michigan's Dr. Garabrant if they had read his research regarding dioxin/furan exposure in the Tittabawassee River. The reply was ''no'' and therefore not incorporated into their moving-forward plans.

When I heard the EPA had ended discussions with Dow, I was bewildered. Why would discussions be terminated at this stage? Even if the EPA and Dow don't agree with what should be done, negotiations cannot take place if there is no communication. Residents, no matter what side of the issue, want communication between the EPA, DEQ and Dow.

Dow did not participate in the Feb. 7 meeting due to lack of new information. The EPA did not come because of the weather, which is understandable. That left the DEQ. I was happy to read that the DEQ wants to move ahead with less invasive procedures than what we saw last fall. They, too, must have been shocked when they saw the land stripped of trees and vegetation. True, it grows back, but in the meantime it upsets the natural balance of wildlife. There's also the question of whether dioxins and furans are more of a danger by being exposed rather than staying buried.

I've attended these meetings since they started. I still have not heard evidence of dioxins or furans getting into anyone's bloodstream as a result of the Tittabawassee flooding or from activities on the river. Nor have I heard of someone being ill as a result of exposure to the river. While I feel bad for anyone who is ill, and I understand the need to be able to determine the cause, it seems premature to blame the dioxins and furans.
Until there is factual data showing that the Tittabawassee is harming residents, the DEQ needs to remove the facility designation. Dow must continue to clean ''hotspots'' that have consistently tested high. The community needs to be more careful with our land and water as we move forward.

And, our legislators must review the new research and the 90 parts per trillion level and make adjustments if supported. Just like other areas in our lives, we revise how we do things as we grow older because we learn new and better ways based on past experience and new findings.

Ann Doyle

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