The recent work plans submitted by Dow Chemical to MDEQ which were at the center of the recent DEQ- Dow meeting on Feb. 9th, have been reviewed by EPA Region V and the review is highly critical of Dow’s plans. The work plans are of highest priority because they determine how the state proceeds with cleanup.
Failing to pass scientific scrutiny within EPA Dow once again submits plans so deficient as to be transparent. No company with the resources that Dow has can consistently submit plans so inadequate and so lacking unless it is by design. Like the Consent Order in 2002, the Risk Assessment in 2002, the Scopes of Work in 2003 and the IRA’s, Dow’s intentions are to deliberately:
Ignore compliance with their license
Delay defining the extent of their contamination
Deny the toxicity of dioxin
Rewrite the science to benefit them
Rewrite the laws that govern them
It’s a legitimate question to ask if “voluntary corrective action” really works or if it’s just a burden on the taxpayers as it drains resources and tax dollars within our budget strapped DEQ. Not to mention the natural resource and public health implications associated with deliberate delays created by a corporation that has no interest in being responsible. Under the provisions of voluntary corrective action the State of Michigan has spent years working with Dow to bring them into compliance. Folks it’s not working!
Some snippets of EPA’s comments to MDEQ,
“The Human Health Risk Assessment Work Plans (HHRAWPs), as proposed by Dow in the RIWPs, do not comply with EPA risk assessment policy and guidance and, therefore, cannot be approved by EPA” —–What are the odds Dow doesn’t know what the EPA policy is? Dow just chose to ignore the policy because it doesn’t fit their agenda.
“Dow’s current proposal to use approximately one sample to characterize each mile of river (25 samples per 22 miles of river) is unacceptable”. —-Dow has argued that no actions toward final remediation can take place until such time as we understand what properties are contaminated and how much contamination there is. Yet Dow repeatedly puts up every road block possible to delay information gathering.
“Dow’s proposal in the M-RIWP to delay Phase II sampling until 2008 is not acceptable to EPA. Rather, to avoid this unnecessary delay in the remedial investigation and to minimize any ongoing exposure and associated risks, EPA requests that MDEQ require Dow to initiate the Phase II sampling, described within the M-RIWP, no later than Spring of 2006”——–How Dow Chemical loves those delays.
You can read all of EPA’s comments on the TRW web site. www.trwnews.net or e-mail me and I will send them to you.
Much of what Dow is attempting to do with a rewrite of the science and the law is in an attempt to get out ahead of the release of Dioxin Reassessment at EPA. Again, Dow Chemical is the only entity that continues to deny, at the expense of public health, the toxicity of dioxin.
Through sheer political force, lobbying and local philanthropy Dow has been able to outflank regulatory agencies, rules, laws or anything else that constrains their profitability. Dow has been able to ruin the commons and trespass onto personal property and properties owned by the people of the State of Michigan almost with impunity and Dow’s dioxin will migrate to Lake Huron poisoning another entire eco-system and economic resource for decades.
While Dow is busy hanging their diamonds all over Saginaw County and ingratiating themselves with all the movers, shakers and policy makers, please, see it for what it is, a public relations campaign to avoid being responsible. The very thing we demand of government and individuals we should expect from Dow. There are responsible corporations – Dow just isn’t one of them.
Michelle Hurd Riddick
Lone Tree Council