June 3, 2004

 

A special meeting of the City Council was held on Thursday, June 3, 2004, at 5:00 p.m. in Council Chambers in City Hall.  Mayor Black presided.

 

Councilmen present:

Drummond Black, Bruce Johnson, James Myers, Joseph Rokosz

Councilmen absent:

Hollis McKeag

 

COMMUNITY MEETING ON DIOXIN - RECOGNITION OF COTÉ

Mayor Black recognized Chuck Coté for his participation as moderator for the Community Meeting on Dioxin held at the Midland Center for the Arts on Wednesday, May 26.  In appreciation for his participation, Mayor Black presented Mr. Coté with a City medallion.

 

SENATE BILL 1276 AND HOUSE BILL 5963 – DIOXIN SOIL CONTAMINATION

City Manager Karl Tomion presented a resolution that would show Midland City Council’s support of Senate Bill 1276 and House Bill 5963 to provide for a more responsible State level for dioxin soil contamination.  Mr. Tomion reviewed the results of a survey taken at the May 26 Community Meeting on Dioxin that showed 88% of the audience members returning the survey did not agree with the way the MDEQ has handled the dioxin issue in Midland and 92% of the audience members returning surveys felt Midland City Council should continue to seek a dioxin health/exposure study prior to the implementation of additional soil testing by the MDEQ. 

Mr. Tomion introduced State Senator Tony Stamas who spoke in support of Senate Bill 1276 and House Bill 5963. 

Bill Egerer, 2912 Camberley Lane, spoke on behalf of Midland Matters which is comprised of a group of Midland citizens who advocate sound science.

Mayor Black indicated although Councilman McKeag could not be present at the meeting he had indicated his support of this resolution.  The following resolution was then offered by Councilman Myers and seconded by Councilman Johnson:

 

WHEREAS, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) has promulgated regulation setting a 90 parts per trillion (ppt) level for dioxin soil contamination; and

WHEREAS, the MDEQ did not provide the City or its residents any notice of its proposed regulation before it was adopted; and

WHEREAS, the City has requested that the MDEQ undertake a study to determine the actual risks to Midland residents’ health before proceeding to order The Dow Chemical Company to undertake mitigation of this historic pollution problem; and

WHEREAS, The Dow Chemical Company has offered to pay for such a study and the MDEQ has declined for unspecified reasons; and

WHEREAS, the MDEQ has been aware of the historic levels of dioxin in the soils of Midland residents for a least eight years and has not chosen to act until recently, demonstrating their own apparent recognition that the 90 ppt is not a health threat; and

WHEREAS, the MDEQ has informed the City that it intends to proceed immediately with mitigation at the 90 ppt level; and

WHEREAS, the City Council is concerned that such regulatory actions appear to be political and not scientifically based; and

WHEREAS, the City of Midland scheduled a public forum to provide Midland citizens with answers to their questions on the dioxin soil contamination issue by a panel of experts including the MDEQ, The Dow Chemical Company and the Midland County Health Department; and

WHEREAS, at the conclusion of this meeting 658 total surveys were returned (41% of the audience) that were tallied and summarized as follows:

            I am satisfied with the process that the MDEQ has presented on the dioxin issue and believe that they are adequately addressing my concerns.

                        Yes                                           53 (08%)

                        No                                            577 (88%)

                        No opinion/uncertain                 28 (04%)

            I believe the City Council should continue to seek a dioxin health/exposure study prior to the implementation of additional soil testing.

                        Yes                                          605 (92%)

                        No                                               39 (06%)

                        No opinion/uncertain                  14 (02%)

;and

WHEREAS, the refusal of the MDEQ to undertake a health-based scientific review of the 90 ppt criteria is unacceptable to Midland and its residents; and

WHEREAS, State Senator Tony Stamas and State Representative John Moolenaar have introduced Senate Bill 1276 and House Bill 5963 to increase the dioxin soil contamination level to the federal level to protect the interests of Midland residents; and

WHEREAS, the United States Department of Health and Human Services has issued a document entitled, “Dioxin and Dioxin-like Compounds in Soil, Part 1: ATSDR Interim Guideline,” dated August 21, 1997 that provides a dioxin soil contamination action level of 1,000 ppt; now therefore

RESOLVED, that the Midland City Council hereby endorses Senate Bill 1276 and House Bill 5963; and

RESOLVED FURTHER, that the Midland City Council requests quick consideration and adoption of these bills; and

RESOLVED FURTHER, that the City Clerk be directed to send a copy of this resolution to Midland’s State legislators and the Governor.  (Motion ADOPTED.)

 

Being no further business the meeting adjourned at 5:30 p.m.

 

                                                              

                                                                        __________________________________

                                                                        Selina Tisdale, City Clerk