The EPA and Citizen Job

April 21st, 2017

Re: E.P.A. Chief, Rejecting Agency’s Science, Chooses Not to Ban Insecticide (NYT, 3/29/17)

Reporter Eric Lipton wrote this interesting article regarding pesticides and the EPA, regarded as moribund among a myriad of federal agencies to wither on the vine of the national debt. Few would protest a desire to lower federal spending but the image painted by articles like this one, is of a thief taking out your Dad in a home-invasion incident.

This blog has numerous posts about the EPA’s many strengths over decades of dedicated investigations of how we harm ourselves daily. However, the agency isn’t your mother. Citizens either parent government agencies in their creation or nurture those efforts like a farmer does a field. I’ve had extensive contact with the EPA so regard the fury of news writers and their readers with astonishment. Here’s the letter I wrote to the Times about their article questioning a ‘failure’ to ban a pesticide that was banned residentially during Carole Browner’s term as EPA administrator. By the way, Carole Browner had the assistance of 17,000 citizen complaints about the substance. When did you last give input on a subject open to action?


To the Editor,

In the Book of Job, a sick and angry man rages against the fate that withered his shade tree and blistered his skin as he sat in the desert. Divine wisdom became his as the reasons for his rage were reduced to zero. Job was advised to understand that those things he neither created nor nurtured were not his to command.

Significant attention is given in the media regarding HR Bill 1861, proposing the shut-down of the Environmental Protection Agency by 12/31/18. An environmental activist myself, I must ask the reason for the public panic over an agency you ignored while your local air grew full of insecticides and your wells tested positive for poisons. My own medical records have several tests documenting poisoning and my long-term attempts to assist the EPA.

Why have so few Americans bothered to test the air and water at home and at work? Why protest the end of an agency you did not create nor tend? In the United States, government is staffed, directed and funded by the populace. Should the EPA suddenly become of interest to you, I suggest you schedule a, “Take an EPA employee to lunch day” in order to learn your future role in this area of your lives. You may then order the agency watered, pruned, uprooted entirely or arrange for cuttings of that tree to be planted in agencies like OSHA.

We may not have planted government here, but tend it we must or wave goodbye.

Barbara Rubin, M.A.

Categories: Newspaper Commentary, NY Times

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