It is very unfortunate that such misinformation was reported by Michael Weisskopf {"Jobs and Illness in Petrochemical Corridor," front page, Dec. 22}.

Correct information was available to Mr. Weisskopf at the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality. He spent many hours interviewing my technical staff both in person and by telephone. Apparently, Mr. Weisskopf chose to ignore the factual and relevant information and instead reported erroneous, outdated figures.

I would offer the following information:

1. The 1970 exemption referred to in the article actually refers to the beginning of the air permit system in Louisiana in July 1969. All processes and/or units in existence prior to that date must still comply with all of the present air quality regulations. Louisiana's regulations have been constantly strengthened through revisions to incorporate more stringent controls on hydrocarbons for ozone attainment. Success of this is demonstrated by the 19 nonattainment parishes designated in 1978. Only five parishes around the Baton Rouge area remain in violation of the standard.

2. Louisiana's National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants Regulations on asbestos and vinyl chloride exceed federal requirements.

3. Enforcement is strong and strict, especially on hazardous air pollutant violations, such as vinyl chloride and asbestos -- as evidenced by the reduction in releases of vinyl chloride documented in the two annual reports on vinyl chloride presented to Mr. Weisskopf during his visit to the department.

4. The reference to 400 million pounds of toxic pollutants being emitted into the air is tremendously higher than any report we have seen. Since there is no report cited in Mr. Weisskopf's story, we are unable to corroborate this quantity.

5. Dr. Paul Templet's assertion that his department at Louisiana State University has never received funding to study chemical pollutants along the corridor because "it hasn't been politically favorable to do so" is simply a case of being misinformed. His department has received a contract to measure chemical pollutants in the St. Gabriel area, and the work is ongoing.

6. The department of Environmental Quality and the Department of Health and Human Resources began for the St. Gabriel area a joint, multimedia evaluation of environmental parameters, which includes testing public water supplies; identifying all hazardous products and byproducts in the area; evaluating water discharge data from individual companies; evaluating facility air emission inventories; analyzing releases due to upsets and malfunctions; and performing ambient air monitoring of various hydrocarbons on a regular and random basis throughout the area.

7. The Department of Health and Human Resources has prepared a protocol for an epidemiological study into the alleged high incidence of miscarriages. A technical advisory group, composed of recognized experts in the field, will begin the study this month and will complete the study in April. Preliminary information does not indicate any unusual rate. However, more detailed studies are required for a proper determination.

As the secretary of the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, I felt a responsibility to inform the many readers of The Post of the ongoing comprehensive studies and testing the department initiates in response to our citizens' concerns.

MARTHA A. MADDEN Secretary, Department of Environmental Quality State of Louisiana Baton Rouge