- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 31, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

I want to reinforce the letter from Jack Duckworth (“EPA doesn’t grow on trees, but it grows,” Letters, Dec. 24).

With a master’s degree in sanitary engineering (known today as environmental engineering), I was a commissioned officer in the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS), an elite organization of specialists in a variety of scientific disciplines. When the Environmental Protection Agency was established in 1970, I was automatically transferred to that organization because of my expertise in air pollution control.

While at the EPA, I quickly discovered that politics trumped professionalism, as lawyers displaced scientists in the top levels of the agency. I don’t claim to be clairvoyant, but it did not take me long to realize that the EPA was determined to tighten the rules despite the lack of necessary scientific facts. So I applied for retirement (from the PHS) after two years and three months at the EPA, and I was employed as an environmental adviser by a trade association for 16 years.

Some people said I exchanged a white hat for a black hat, but I slept better knowing that I didn’t have to defend the indefensible. Now I wonder when the nation will come to its senses and rein in the EPA.

WILLIAM H. MEGONNELL

Annapolis, Md.

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