Saturday, February 09, 2008

Len's Excellent Commentary on EPA/MDEQ Meeting at SVSU

The bureaucrats were out in force at EPA's Great Lakes National Program Presentation at Saginaw Valley State University. While I applaud their efforts concerning cleanup of the Great Lakes due to pollution, invasive species and bringing together involved parties, there is a major hiccup in one area. This area is dioxin and how it is being approached.

After listening to a very sanctimonious presentation concerning corporate responsibility in the area of environmental cleanup, the EPA leaves one wondering. In the face of scientists who pioneered dioxin research, and refute the so-called dangers in the area of dioxin, the EPA and MDEQ continue in their quest to force cleanup in our area. Even though evidence is abundantly available that dioxin has never harmed any population, and there is no scientific proof to the contrary.

We are still subject to the bureaucratic mindset. It was very sad to listen to the biased presentation of a Mr. Dollhopf from the EPA, but stereotypical when considering EPA's past comments. While The Dow Chemical Co. has been forthright in their efforts to supply cleanup monies and data concerning this subject, they still have an obligation to not throw money away needlessly. This concept does not connect with the EPA. It has to be very frustrating for Dow to continue this process when the EPA has inserted a moving target for them to complete the cleanup issue.

We have generated an enormous amount of undeniable, statistically sound scientific data that proves dioxin is not entering the human system through dust or soil. The U of M human blood serum study is irrefutable in this area. The MSU wildlife study proves that our ecosystem is healthy and vibrant. This is contrary to the outdated information the EPA and MDEQ use in their extrapolations to determine cleanup numbers. Why are the EPA and MDEQ so reluctant to embrace this data and use it? Our area is suffering from the effects of dioxin but it is not from health issues. It is the continuing diatribe we hear from the EPA and MDEQ that is harming us economically while disparaging the image of our community.

While I support the EPA in all other areas, I feel they should revisit their efforts in the dioxin area. Their continuing push in this area has the potential to alienate our largest employer to the point that the pubic stands to suffer greatly. A corporate expansion, freeze or downsizing would not be out of the question when facing the irresponsible demands the EPA and MDEQ have put upon them. When the cure outweighs the benefits of an issue, then it is time for listening and caution before moving forward.

Leonard Heinzman Freeland

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