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I’m Done With The Fraud That Pretends To Protect The Public From Toxic Chemicals

From Science to Regulation, The System Is Broken

The trouble with Eichmann was precisely that so many were like him, and that the many were neither perverted nor sadistic, that they were, and still are, terribly and terrifyingly normal. From the viewpoint of our legal institutions and of our moral standards of judgment, this normality was much more terrifying than all the atrocities put together. ~~~ “Eichmann in Jerusalem”, Hannah Arendt (1963)

[Update below]

I sent the following message to a national group of scientists, lawyers, activists, and other so called experts that work on the science and regulation of toxic chemicals.

The straw that broke the camel’s back was Rich Denison’s (EDF) weak technocratic commentary opposing a Trump EPA scientific peer review of the health effects of the toxic chemical  TCE.

Dear Lenny and my fellow TCE and Vapor Intrusion listserve members:

As you may know, I began my academic study and professional career related to the science and regulation of hazardous chemicals back in 1975, with undergraduate studies that included basic chemistry, organic chemistry, analytical chemistry, and the biochemistry of mechanisms of carcinogenesis (Google William Batin (deceased), a microbiologist and my mentor).

This undergraduate work was extended at Cornell graduate school, where among other things, I explored Administrative Law and learned from post-doctorate toxicologist and Cornell Law School experts on a range of science, law and governing/regulatory issues (Google Sheila Jasanoff and Neil Orloff (deceased)).

I then attempted to apply this learning at the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) in 1985, where I began my career as a supervisor of the development of NJ’s RCRA “Correction Action” program.

Given this background, it is extremely distressing to witness my professional peers – who CLEARLY KNOW BETTER – continue to mindlessly legitimize a disgracefully broken and corrupted system, while seemingly caring about little more than their own professional careers or organizational or institutional interests.

In prior emails, I’ve attempted in good faith to engage these issues and urge others to consider what they are doing. Those appeals were greeted by silence.

It is therefore with deep regret that I must not only implore my colleagues to stop this corrupt behavior, but to request that you terminate my participation in all listserves  you operate (TCE, Vapor Intrusion et al).

Bill Wolfe

[Update: 4/6/20 – Thinking it was obvious, I had no time or inclination to lay out my reasons for my disgust with my former “colleagues”. For those who don’t get it, Ralph Nader summarizes it here – while this gross corruption is going on, just think of all the resources, expertise, time, and grassroots activism of well meaning people that are being wasted by Gig Green groups on “in the room” activities (i.e. peer review, stakeholder meetings, public comments on proposed rules, etc) negotiating foolish and destructive corrupt “compromises”:

Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) henchmen are racing to weaken, revoke, or not enforce environmental safeguards for the air you breathe, the water you drink, and the food you eat. Certain scientifically condemned pesticides, for example, are in your food, but Trump and his EPA lackeys don’t care. These cruel minions are also taking advantage of the coronavirus crisis by signaling to polluters they can open up emission pipes and that the EPA will look the other way. Trump’s EPA is taking actions that mean more people will get sick and more people will die.

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