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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 <email@example.com>
> 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
> From: Green Delaware <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> 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.