Friday, December 12, 2014

public participation

Public Participation

The EPA organized a community group to evaluate the success of remediation [by Dow Chemical]. It met a few times, provided critical commentary, and was dropped as Dow completed its EPA required action. Over the years, this would be a familiar model of public participation. If the panel was critical, its life was usually brief. Citizen oversight of one of Michigan’s most powerful Fortune 500 companies would not be popular with regulatory authorities, elected officials or more importantly, the Dow Chemical Company...... Dow itself had (has) a community advisory panel. Its goal was (is) to get honest feedback from the community as to how it was performing as a corporate citizen. Mary Sinclair, Midland citizen, science and communication adviser to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, didn’t last a year on the panel. She recognized that the company was not forthcoming in information requests or responsive to suggestions – she left.

Is this yet another exercise in futility or is it the finality so many of us
hope has arrived?

Do we participate in good faith? Eight years of Dow’s tactics of denial and delay, eight years of frustration at the state’s impotence. Can the federal government succeed? Can the CAG succeed?

Each individual active in this clean up will have to answer these questions for themselves. I for one am not prepared to let any opportunity to hold Dow and the EPA accountable slip away.

Terry Miller, Chairman Lone Tree Council

Blog Archive