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Re: let's build a unified movement, not fight each other

  Back from Maine - what a pile of messages for one subject!  *Almost*
  tempting enough to bring the modem on my travels - but experience has
  taught me better.  
  As to many of the participants comments - I have been trying to find a
  nice, pleasant way to carry on this part of the conversation that deals
  with regulatory personnel.  I am not their chosen defender, nor do I
  wish to soak up all of my time in replying to derogatory remarks about
  their general nature.  By the same token, I feel that many of you
  contribute to the problem but a complete lack of any empathy for what
  these people have to put up with and what their jobs actually entail.  
  > From: Larime Wilson <larime@bloomington.in.us>
  > I could respect the work of agency regulators who are doing their
  > to protect health and environment---if I knew any.  Regarding those
  > write about, we don't need to meet them to tell them how "worthless"
  > "meaningless" their work is; the agencies they work for are already
  > a good job of that.  (Ask them!)  For example, what has happened to
  > 1994 dioxin reassessment? . ? . ? . ? . . . 
  Yet, the engineer in Indianapolis who catches a PSD problem forcing the
  impacted industry to install air pollution control technology, making a
  company's expansion plus original facility cleaner than the original,
  is wrong?  Or the inspector who catches a problem with an air emission
  test report is evil?  The bottom line is that you are expecting more of
  the personnel than they are able to give, or you have no concept of
  everything their job entails.  Unless, you truly believe this and we
  should disband all of the environmental protections offices nationwide?
   So which wise-use group do you work for? Sarcasm?  I can't tell
  because you seem to be unwilling to discuss all the good things these
  people do.
  > From: Green Delaware <amuller@dca.net>
  > Sam, I am really getting tired of this.  What you say is true enough
  > its face, but I think you are doing what you keep accusing others of 
  > doing: refusing to see the other side.  You seem to be saying that 
  > activists, who are typically working for less than nothing, while at
  > same time struggling to understand scientific and engineering
  > should not be pissed of at encountering professional "scientists" and
  > bureaucrats who lick the boots of the polluters.
  No, I am saying that those working in a regulatory capacity have their
  own jobs to do.  The jobs are necessary within the framework of keeping
  our environment clean, and this is the case unless you are unwilling to
  notice the immense of amount of pollution control that is happening
  right now.  While many do "lick boots," most are doing their jobs as
  that job is outlined.  And the types of jobs are immense and tend to
  fill the hours of any one person doing that work.  If you want them to
  do more review and ensure that a permit is correct, or that industry
  has applied the right numbers, you need to get more of them, not yell
  at the few that are there.  But do NOT expect them to fight an industry
  for you - their job is ensure that industry complies with the law, not
  shut down arbitrarily.  So if the industrial standard of a certain
  process says they cannot emit more than 20 lbs/hr of a type "x"
  pollution, the permit engineer will make sure control technology or
  process limitations are in place.  If they are over 20 lbs/hr, then the
  fines can start, or the regulatory agency can ask them to shut down,
  but not before.
  What if 20 lbs/hr is too much to the neighbor?  The permit engineer
  can't do a THING about it.  His/her hands are tied by the laws, which
  are drafted by someone else, changed in a committee, then passed by a
  law-making.  You can't rant and yell at the permit engineer all you
  want, but it is not in their power to make that distinction.  HOWEVER,
  they try to make sure the letter of the law is followed AND THOSE LAWS
  are much better than they were 30 years ago.  
  Is the permit engineer in this case brave if he quits in disgust?  Many
  of you seem to think so.  I think many of you are crazy.  You want an
  engineer or scientist with several years of experience to quit for the
  disgusting things that happen?  Or do you want them making sure that
  any new facility complies with the law?  And if they do quit who
  replaces them?  Some kid fresh out of college with no experience and a
  lot more likely to get confused and snowed by the high-priced
  consultant selling snake oil.  I am sorry, but the truly brave
  regulatory personnel are the ones that really care about the
  environment, and STAY, in the face of adversity, low pay, and little
  Whether you recognize it or not, you need these people.  Badly.  If
  they are not there, then industry can basically build anything they
  want without any thought as to controlling pollution.  People can just
  drain wetlands without worrying about endangered species.  If you like
  that idea, then vote Republican - they've been trying for just this in
  the most active ways possible since Regan was elected.
  Sam McClintock