More good original journalism by Eartha Melzer at Michigan Messenger.
Michigan has a state government so broke it can't even afford to tell people about fish contaminants.
Allan Taylor, a geologist with the Department of Environmental Quality’s waste and hazardous materials division who has been working on dioxin contamination issues in the area since 1991, told Michigan Messenger that he feels the current level of signage is inadequate, especially since the posted signs have outdated information about the risks associated with walleye consumption.
Officials say that under an agreement with the state, Dow Chemical, which is responsible for the watershed’s dioxin contamination, promised to pay for fish advisory signs but has balked at fulfilling this agreement and has refused to provide necessary funds. Mary Draves, spokeswoman for Dow Chemical acknowledged that the company has come to an impasse with the DEQ over funding for fish advisory signs.
“I am not aware of anything further that we will be doing on this,” she said.
Currently, the signs are more or less the only official way to communicate the dioxin danger to the public. Budget shortfalls in the late 1990s prompted the state to end its policy of distributing fish advisory information to people who buy fishing licenses.